“Persecution of Palestinians a global problem, not only Muslims” (part 2)

AS the world mourned Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder, the Roman Catholic clergy in Jerusalem strongly condemned the actions of Israeli police at her funeral, adding that the latter were “disrespectful and disproportionate” in their use of force.

As the late reporter was a Christian, this goes to show the Palestinian issue is not merely a Muslim or Islamic issue but an all-encompassing issue involving even Palestinian Christians who are continually being oppressed, along with their Muslim brethren by the brutal Zionist regime.

Israel’s first reaction to the killing was attributing it to a Palestinian gunman, and that she was caught in the crossfire of clashes. This is a well-known trademark response of denial and shifting the blame to the Palestinian.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that an “armed Palestinians shot in an inaccurate, indiscriminate, and uncontrolled manner” during the Israel Defence Force’s (IDF) operation. “Our forces from the IDF returned fire as accurately, carefully, and responsibly as possible. Sadly, Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in the exchange.”

But for its accurate, careful and responsible returned fire, the IDF failed to kill a single Palestinian gunman then, making its account of the killing a real fantasy.

Also, a researcher with an eminent Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem analysed the footage and reported the gunman in the video was in a separate location in Jenin entirely.

Israel has maintained that it is committed to investigations, including one devoted to Shireen’s death.

But again its trademark response in delaying an investigation is fully exhibited when Bennet said: “To uncover the truth, there must be a real investigation, and the Palestinians are currently preventing that. Without a serious investigation, we will not reach the truth.”

He was referring to an earlier statement of the Israeli government saying it would jointly investigate the killing with the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinian side declined to provide Shireen’s body or share the bullet that killed her with the Israeli authorities.

According to analysts, the Palestinian refusal has a lot to do with the Israeli government not having a good track record of investigating its own crimes.

And Israel does not allow international investigations of violations in the country or the occupied territories, and in recent years, has chosen not to cooperate or provide access to UN commissions or special rapporteurs.

Sham Israeli probe unwanted!

Israel has even designated the premier Palestinian rights organisation Al-Haq as a terrorist organisation, in what experts called” retribution for Al-Haq’s documentation of violations on the ground”.

It is quite telling that even an Israeli rights group has no confidence in investigations spearheaded by Israel.

“No one should believe the Israeli promises to quote-unquote investigate what has happened because the promise of investigations are nothing but the first step in Israel’s organised whitewash,” said B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad.

“Israel is unable and unwilling to conduct such investigations which opens the door to international legal responsibility,” he added. And that’s mainly because it’s the army that’s investigating the army.

The big question now is with the global condemnations on the killing including from the US, which has demanded a thorough, transparent and independent investigation, along with the EU and UN Security Council, it remains to be seen whether Israel will drag its feet in carrying out the investigation.

But Israel is famous for ignoring and violating UN resolution. It will be more interesting to watch the reactions of the US, EU and UN Security Council in the event Israel drags its feet in carrying out the investigation or refuses to investigate the killing. – May 23, 2022


Jamari Mohtar is the Editor of Let’s Talk!, an e-newsletter on current affairs.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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