The death of Shireen Abu Akleh revealed the unworkability of the status quo in Palestine. Her funeral, which was attended by both Muslims and Christians, also offers hope for peace in the Holy Land.
The tragic killing of the Palestinian Christian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, has revealed the futility of continuing the status quo, and the need for a final peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. Her death has also encouraged more people to stand up against the sectarian divide and the fundamentalist ideas that feed it.
On May 11, Israeli special forces raided the refugee camp located in the Palestinian city of Jenin. According to the Israeli military, soldiers entered the camp to arrest militant members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas supected of recent terrorist attacks in Israel. However, during an armed confrontation between militants and the Israeli Defense Forces, Shireen Abu Akleh was tragically killed.
Immediately after Abu Akleh’s death, the question of who was responsible monopolized conversations on social media. It is an important matter that should be addressed – whoever is responsible for her shooting should be prosecuted. Two weeks since her death, though, it is right to reflect on the broader issues surrounding the killing of Abu Akleh.
First, Abu Akleh’s death has placed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once again on the global agenda as a conflict that demands a resolution. Second, within Palestinian society, the death of a Palestinian Christian revealed the existence of the sectarian problem between Muslims and Christians.
The world turns its eyes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict again
For the Israeli army to enter a Palestinian city is not a surprising or a new phenomenon for Palestinians. This has happened repeatedly since 1967, and even following the Oslo agreement signed in 1993, which gave the Palestinian authority governing authority over the major cities of the West Bank and Gaza. Abu Akleh covered these hot points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over two decades; she would be in every major raid, clash, or protest. However, the world seems to have forgotten the reality of life in Palestine.