In May 2022, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a report documenting a pattern of impunity by Israeli forces in the killing of journalists and other civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report specifically highlighted the case of Shireen Abu Akleh, a 46-year-old Palestinian journalist who was killed by Israeli forces in May 2021 while covering a protest in the West Bank.
Abu Akleh was wearing a vest marked with “PRESS” at the time of her killing, and was standing with a group of journalists and protesters when she was shot in the chest. The Israeli military initially claimed that she was an “imminent threat,” but later retracted that statement and said that her killing was under investigation.
However, a year later, no one has been held accountable for Abu Akleh’s killing. The CPJ report noted that this is part of a broader pattern of Israeli forces using excessive force against journalists and other civilians in the occupied territories, and then failing to hold anyone accountable for these actions.
According to the report, there have been at least 31 cases since 1992 in which Israeli forces killed or injured journalists in the occupied territories, and in most cases, no one has been held accountable for these attacks. The report also noted that there have been numerous cases of Israeli forces using excessive force against protesters, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries.
The CPJ report called on Israeli authorities to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into all cases of violence against journalists and other civilians, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. The report also called on international bodies to pressure Israel to end its impunity for these crimes.
The killing of journalists and other civilians in conflict zones is a serious violation of international law, and it is essential that those responsible for these crimes are held accountable. The CPJ’s report is an important reminder of the need for justice and accountability for all victims of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories.