It was an area of tension as it used to be covered. Shirin Abu Okla left, on Wednesday morning, his helmet on his head and his “press” jacket on his back, heading to Jenin, a large city in the northern occupied West Bank, where the Israeli army has been carrying out military operations for several weeks. . It is barely 6:13 am when the journalist sends a letter to her editorial office, Al Jazeera. Israeli forces invaded Jenin and surrounded a house in the Jabriyat neighborhood. I’m on my way, and I’ll let you know for a live once I have more details. This will be the last email a 51-year-old Palestinian-American reporter writes to the channel.
And her death will be announced, an hour later, in the city hospital, after she was shot in the head, which she received during her communication. Where does the shot come from? After claiming that the journalist had “probably” surrendered to an attack by Palestinian militants, Israel finally said it was not ruling out the possibility that its soldiers had fired the shot. Since then, the Al Jazeera personality, famous for his courage and perseverance on the ground, has proliferated.
Several officials and thousands of Palestinians participated in an official ceremony in Ramallah, Thursday, commemorating the journalist who was killed at the age of 51 for the last time. The “Voice of Palestine”, praised the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referring to the “icon of truth” and “the national heroine of those whose voices have been silenced because of Israel’s crimes.”
“I chose this path to be close to people”
When she was young, Shireen Abu Akleh was not destined to work as a reporter. Architecture was his first ambition. Shirin was born in 1971 to a Christian family, and grew up in the town of Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. At the same time, she will receive American citizenship, having lived for a while with the family of her mother, who settled in New Jersey. Later, she began studying architecture at the University of Jordan, before finally turning to journalism by attending Yarmouk College in Jordan, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. “I chose this path to be close to people,” she explained in a short video published by Al Jazeera after her death on Wednesday.
With her degree, the journalist-trainee returns to the Palestinian Territories, wanting to recount the daily lives and hardships of a people she considers unjustly threatened. She knocked on the doors of several newsrooms, and doubled the number of freelance journalists at Radio “La Voix de la Palestine” and Radio Monte-Carlo, before joining Al Jazeera in 1997, where she worked for 25 years. Her passion for the field drives her to cover multiple events from Gaza to Ramallah, through Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In front of the camera, she narrates the events of the battle of Jenin (2002) or the wounded of the second intifada (2000-2005). More recently, she described the extent of the Israeli army’s raids in the area.
A face that imposes itself in Arab homes
When asked by NBC four years ago about her fears from the field, the reporter said she was “obviously afraid.” “But sometimes it’s not the time to be afraid when you’re doing this job,” she continued. “I try to report from places that are relatively safe, and it is important for me to protect my team as much as possible,” she told TV.
On the ground, his reports attempt to describe the policy of the State of Israel, the violence of its army, and the failures of the Palestinian Authority. Little by little, his face is asserting itself in thousands of Arab homes, becoming a Palestinian icon, and inspiring an entire generation of aspiring journalists. “I know a lot of little girls who have grown up standing in front of their mirror, brushing their hair in their hands, pretending to be Shereen,” Palestinian-American journalist and journalist Dalia Hatouqa told the New York Times. . “That is how important its existence and permanence are.”