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Shireen Abu Akleh: Israeli Arabs mourn loss of a hero

For Israeli Arab society, Shireen Abu Akleh, killed last week in Jenin, was not only a well-known journalist but a hero and part of their lives.
Women light candles in memory of veteran Al Jazeera Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering an Israeli army raid in Jenin, at the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, West Bank, May 11, 2022.

The funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh May 13 turned into a violent confrontation between Israeli security forces and the mourners who came to accompany her coffin on its final journey, from the French Hospital in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Images of Israeli police clashing with the participants in the funeral procession reached almost every home globally. No one in Israel and the rest of the world could remain indifferent to the sight of the coffin almost falling.

With that, Israel was subjected to harsh criticism and condemnations for the actions of its police during the procession. It was described on Israeli social media feeds as a devastating blow to Israel’s public opinion campaign and a serious setback to its image. People wondered what possible excuse the police could have for acting the way they did. To make matters worse, all of this was happening before Israel even had a chance to repair its image after the shooting of a journalist, by thoroughly investigating the incident. With the harsh footage still making its way around the world, it now seems as if Israel will not be able to repair its image at all.

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