Israeli forces attacked mourners carrying the journalist’s casket as they left the St Joseph Hospital.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave the family of murdered Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh the ‘Star of Jerusalem’ medal on Saturday in honour of her distinguished role in the industry.
The veteran journalist was killed by Israeli forces on 11 May as she was covering their raid of the Jenin camp. Abu Akleh was shot despite being in her press flak jacket and helmet, clearly identifying as a member of the press.
Following her burial on Friday, President Abbas hosted Abu Akleh’s family at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, where he announced the decision to grant the journalist the award.
Palestinian state news agency (WAFA) said Al Jazeera’s Managing Director, Ahmad Alyafei was in attendance. The award acknowledge’s Abu Akleh’s courageous role in defending her homeland.
Abbas also awarded the Medal of Appreciation to journalist Ali Al-Sammoudi, who was shot and injured during the same incident as he accompanied Abu Akleh.
Journalist Shatha Hanaysha, who was next to Abu Akleh, and Al Jazeera photojournalist Majdi Bannoura were also awarded the medal. Abbas awarded Sharif Omar Abdel Latif Azab, who risked his life to save Hanaysha, for his bravery.
Investigation into the killing
Al Jazeera said she was deliberately killed by the Israeli forces as witnesses said the bullet precisely hit her below the ear in an area that was not covered by the helmet Abu Akleh was wearing.
Israel said last week that it is going to investigate the killing of Abu Akleh and plans on handing Qatar the findings, according to Tel Aviv media outlet Haaretz.
Israel had first claimed that Abu Akleh was attacked by armed Palestinians rather than murdered by Israeli army fire in a video referenced by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The claims were quickly refuted by Al Jazeera’s news verification and monitoring unit, which showed that the alleged Palestinian fighters were not near Abu Akleh.
The investigations have backed the testimonies of the witnesses.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem had also conducted a separate research and released a video that has also exhibited Israel’s false narrative.
“Documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” tweeted B’Tselem shortly after the incident.
On Sunday, Haaretz, citing a Tel Aviv official, reported that an Israeli soldier ‘may have killed’ Abu Akleh after firing about 190 meters away from her, insisting it was not a premeditated murder.
It said that the Israeli soldier did not see the journalist as he was firing from his jeep at alleged armed Palestinians who emerged behind the wall where Abu Akleh stood.
Palestinians and people across the world have called for an independent, transparent investigation.
The world mourned the loss of 51-year-old Abu Akleh, who was seen as the voice of Palestinians living under the ongoing Israeli occupation.
Her funeral was the longest that Palestine has witnessed in decades, as thousands of mourners carried her casket from one territory to another before burying her in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have attacked mourners carrying Abu Akleh’s casket as they left the St Joseph Hospital. Disturbing footage showed zionist forces trying to drop the coffin whilst seizing the Palestinian flag in the area.
Al Jazeera reported that the apartheid state’s forces also broke the window of the hearse carrying the prominent journalist’s body. The Jerusalem Red Crescent stated that 33 people were injured during the attacks and six were hospitalised.
Qatar has strongly condemned the prevention of the “suppression of the funeral procession.”
“The occupation authorities not only killed Shireen in cold blood whilst she was performing her duty, but also continued to terrorise civilians[…]reflecting the brutality of the Israeli apartheid regime, and its disregard to all human values,” said Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
MOFA has stressed the need to hold the Israeli occupation to account for assassinating Abu Akleh.
Israeli forces also raided Abu Akleh’s house shortly after killing her.
Israel has killed more than 46 Palestinian journalists between 2000 and 2020. In April this year, there were 57 Israeli violations recorded against the press.