A remembrance event took place last Thursday in Cork City as Palestinians and the wider Cork community gathered to commemorate the life of Shireen Abu Akleh on the one year anniversary of her death.
The murder of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin, Occupied Palestine last year sent shockwaves around the world. A dual-citizen of the United States and Palestine, Shireen was shot while reporting on an Israeli military raid in a refugee camp in Jenin in the north of the West Bank. Initial claims from Israeli authorities that Shireen had been shot by Palestinian bullets were soon debunked, with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) eventually admitting that there was a “high possibility” she was shot by an Israeli soldier. No formal actions have been taken by Israel to seek justice for this murder.
To mark the anniversary of her death, members of the public in Cork including those involved in the Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign gathered for an evening of discussion and sharing of stories from Palestine, after watching a screening of the documentary about her death published by Al Jazeera, her former employer. A taste of Palestine was provided by nearby Café Izz with fresh breads, dips and salads shared on the night.
The screening was followed by a presentation by Finn Stoneman of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Finn had recently arrived back from the South Hebron Hills, and gave a presentation about his time as a human rights observer and shared footage of some of the scenes he witnessed. Attendees also heard from voices of Palestine, through Shaima Odeh, who shared an emotional and memorable spoken word piece she wrote about her experience of being Palestinian.
The event took place in the office of MEP Grace O’Sullivan on Washington Street West. O’Sullivan is a member of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, and recently returned from an official mission to the Occupied Territories. She had previously held a press conference in the European Parliament in Strasbourg in cooperation with Al Jazeera and family members of Abu Akleh about her murder, in the search for truth and justice for the murder journalist.