LONDON: A vigil was held in the British capital, London, on Thursday to commemorate the life Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a day after she was killed in the West Bank.
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. Journalists who were with her, including one who was shot and wounded, said Israeli forces fired upon them even though they were clearly identifiable as reporters.
The vigil, which was attended by some 200 people, also aimed to commemorate all Palestinian journalists martyred by Israel in an effort “to bring the truth to the world,” organizers Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.
Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot joined dozens of mourners, including journalists, who gathered at 5:30 p.m. outside the BBC’s headquarters and were asked to bring candles, flags and photos.
Meanwhile, thousands of people are set to take part in a national demonstration on Saturday in London to commemorate Abu Akleh and 74 years of ongoing Israeli occupation.
“One year on from Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza which killed 67 children, protesters will demand sanctions on Israel for its war crimes, illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine,” the organizers, Friends of Al-Aqsa, said in a statement.
Protesters will carry photos of Abu Akleh as well as 55 press jackets to represent the 55 journalists killed by Israel since 2000. Starting outside the BBC, the names of each of these journalists will be on display in a visual memorial to the journalists lost at the hands of Israeli forces.
“The targeting of journalists by Israel is a war crime” says Shamiul Joarder, Head of Public Affairs at FOA. “Today we’re calling for immediate sanctions on Israel”.
Protesters will call for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine, known to many as the ongoing Nakba or catastrophe, which started in 1948 when over 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children were forced to flee their homes.