Shireen’s killing has channeled endless energy into the hearts of Palestinian journalists, leaving us more determined to expose the atrocities of occupation.

by Vera Sajrawi, +972 Magazine

No one can believe it has been a year. The wound is still fresh on the first anniversary of an Israeli sniper killing renowned Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as she was covering an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

On Thursday, a ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of a new media museum named for Shireen took place in Ramallah. I drove down from Haifa to attend the event, and, after a rough ride through the crowded Israeli military checkpoint into the city, arrived exhausted and with a heavy heart.

Activists at the 74th Palestinian Nakba commemorated at the Lincoln Memorial hold signs calling for justice in the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Once there, I see the faces of fellow journalists, many of them my former colleagues — reporters, producers, and photojournalists. We covered Israeli atrocities committed against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and inside Israel. Greeting each other now, none of us can crack a smile — as if we all share a single united, aching heart. I think to myself that it could have been any one of us. The killing machine that is the Israeli military is still not held accountable; it could be any one of us in the future.

The Ramallah municipality provided a piece of land for the museum to be built on, and Al Jazeera — where Shireen worked for at least 25 years — donated the money to build the museum. It will commemorate her memory, as well as that of every Palestinian journalist killed in the conflict, from the 1930s until today. In his speech at the ceremony, the head of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate says that, since 1967, the Israeli military has killed 55 Palestinian journalists while they covered the conflict. The idea that Shireen was not the first and will not be the last terrifies me.

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