Thousands of people will reportedly attend the funeral Shireen Abu Aklehveteran journalist Al Jazeera who was shot dead by the troops Israeltoday, Friday (13/5).
Abu Akleh will be buried next to his parents’ graves in Jerusalem’s Old City Cemetery. Before that, the funeral service for the woman of Palestinian-American descent will be held at the Church in Jerusalem.
Thousands of Palestinians took part in the procession of Abu Akleh’s body, which had been sent from the West Bank to Jerusalem. Abu Akleh’s body was even wrapped in a shroud and a Palestinian flag to the accompaniment of shouts of takbir.
Many also carried bouquets of flowers and held photos of Abu Akleh.
“With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice for you, Shireen. From Ramallah to Jenin, may God forgive all your sins, Shireen,” read slogans and chants of residents were quoted as saying. Al Jazeera.
One of the mourners, Hadil Hamdan, expressed his condolences for the death of Abu Akleh.
“His voice entered every home, and his loss is a wound to our hearts,” he said.
Another mourner, Tariq Ahmed, said Abu Akleh’s death was a tragedy for the whole country. He also compared his grief at attending the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
“I haven’t felt pain like this in a long time since Arafat died,” Ahmed was quoted as saying AFP.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Abu Allan, was willing to travel from the south of the West Bank to attend Abu Akleh’s funeral.
“It’s been a tough journey, but Shireen deserved a goodbye,” said Allan, who came to the funeral in a wheelchair.
Abu Akleh was born into a Palestinian Christian family in East Jerusalem. Abu Akleh’s mother was born in west Jerusalem and the father is from Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Al Jazeera’s senior journalist Dima Khatib tweeted that Abu Akleh was “one of the first Arab female war correspondents of the late 1990s.
At that time, most women journalists worked in television studios, not deployed to war zones.
“Shireen is a pioneer in a generation breaking stereotypes of gender roles in TV journalism.”
Abu Akleh was shot in the head while covering clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin, with his team.
Palestine and Al Jazeera have accused the Israeli military of causing Abu Akleh’s death. However, Israel denies and believes Abu Akleh was shot dead by Palestinians carrying weapons in the clashes.