Palestinians are preparing to say goodbye to the journalist in Jerusalem today Sirin Abu Aklehwho was killed by a bullet to the head two days earlier in the occupied West Bank while covering an Israeli raid.
A 51-year-old Palestinian Christian who also had American citizenship, the Al Jazeera reporter will be buried in Jerusalem, where he grew up, after a service in a church in the old city at 15:00 (local time and Greek time).
Thousands of Palestinians paid tribute to Syria on Thursday, a day after her death, at an official ceremony held at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank. Her body, covered with the Palestinian flag, was transported to where many officials, foreign diplomats and ordinary citizens were waiting for her.
“I came to say goodbye to the one who is deep in our hearts,” said Dua Abu Andi. Sirin Abu Akleh “is not just in every Palestinian home, but in every Arab heart. “She is the sister of all Palestinians.”
The ceremony was followed by an ambulance carrying her body to the crossing between the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of the city that has been occupied and annexed by Israel. The vast majority of West Bank residents do not have access to Jerusalem.
Sirin Abu Aklech was shot dead Wednesday in the head in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, a stronghold of various Palestinian militant groups in the northern West Bank, where some of the perpetrators of the recent attacks in Israel came from.
The Israeli army was conducting an operation to capture wanted Palestinians.
Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of killing the journalist “deliberately” and “coldly”, despite the fact that he was wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet with the word “press”.
For its part, Israel estimated that it “probably” was hit by Palestinian fire, but did not rule out the possibility that the bullet came from the Israeli army.
“We need a forensic report from the Palestinians, including the bullet that killed the journalist, in order to conduct a ‘comprehensive’ report,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gandz.
“The voice of Palestine”
“It is possible that a Palestinian shot her (…). The blow may have come from our side, we are investigating,” he added.
During the ceremony in Ramallah the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas He said he blamed the Israeli authorities “entirely for” Sirin’s death, and denied any wrongdoing.
“The Israeli authorities have committed this crime and we do not trust them,” he said. International Criminal Court.
A first autopsy was performed in Nablus, on the West Bank, shortly after her death, but no final report has been announced.
The death of Sirin Abu Aklech caused a wave of grief and anger in the Palestinian territories, in the Arab world, where citizens watched her reports for years, but also in Europe and the United States.
The portrait of the journalist, the seventh to be killed in the Palestinian territories since 2018 according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), was held by protesters who took to the streets in Turkey, Sudan and Lebanon, and was shown in a building in Doha.
Many spontaneous demonstrations have taken place in the Palestinian territories since Wednesday to protest her death. In the Gaza Strip, artists painted her name in sand and painted a mural in her honor, while at the spot where she was killed in Jenin, children left flowers.
A huge portrait of the journalist was placed on the roof of a house in the central square of Ramallah with the message: “Goodbye Sirin, goodbye voice of Palestine”.