As the unfortunate war continues in Ukraine, many around the world have shown sorrow and support for the people of Ukraine. But what many don’t realise is that there are many countries, like Ukraine suffering due to unjustness and violence. One of those countries is Palestine. For more than half a century, Israel has occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
For more than 50 years, Palestinians have been stripped of their fundamental human rights, land, livelihoods, friends and family. For more than 50 years, Palestinians have witnessed and suffered the deaths of loved ones—the destruction of their homes and business.
Forcefully, they have had to live a life of persecution and violence, a life of fear and torment. Their homeland being torn apart, generations of bloodlines vanishing throughout the years, and their existence crumbling in front of their eyes.
The persecution of Palestinians is truly an inequitable and prejudiced sight.
But unfortunately, many have turned a blind eye to this issue. The number of unjust and appalling acts that the Palestinian people have faced over the past weeks, months and years is truly an ugly sight for many.
This conflict has had numerous short and long-term consequences for Palestinians.
Innocent people, such as Shireen Abu Akleh, have died due to these impacts. Shireen Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American journalist who was killed by Israeli soldiers while filming for the Al Jazeera news channel.
Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces while capturing footage of an Israeli army operation in the West Bank.
Al-Samoudi, a journalist who was shot in the back at the same site, said that “We were going to film the Israeli army operation, and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming”.
They were not even given a chance to leave before shots were fired.
Luckily Al-Samoudi survived, but unfortunately, Shireen Abu Akleh died instantly from significant injuries and couldn’t be saved. Hanaysha, a reporter at the scene, said that “We were four journalists; we were all wearing vests, all wearing helmets,”
This clearly shows that the Israeli soldiers could identify that they were members of the press and shouldn’t have fired shots at them.
What these reporters had witnessed was truly appalling and unjust.
Not only did Israeli soldiers kill Shireen Abu Akleh, but they also mercilessly attacked individuals who were at her funeral to mourn the death of a highly influential, innocent, passionate person who was loved by many.
Akleh did not receive the funeral she deserved. Mourners were brutally beaten with batons while they held her coffin up high. Shireen Abu Akleh couldn’t leave this world peacefully, which is truly upsetting.
Hundreds of people across Palestine are affected by horrific events daily.
Palestinians are suffering incessantly, and many are grieving the loss of loved ones who did not deserve to die for standing up for their right and freedom to live a normal life.
Palestinians cannot participate in their religious or cultural beliefs and are being forced out of their place of worship. They do not have the freedom or right to do what they wish without the fear of being killed, tortured, or imprisoned.
Palestinians are people, too; they have the right to be humans and be treated like human beings and not like worthless beings. These so-called ‘rules’ placed by the Israeli Defence Force are a breach of international law and human rights.
To this day, Shireen Abu Akleh has yet to receive the justice she deserves.
When will Palestine be given a chance to breathe freely?
We anxiously wait for that day when Palestinians can rejoice and celebrate with family and friends without the fears and injustice they are currently going through.