The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is calling for a swift and full investigation into the death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. On Thursday that was pressing Patriarchy in a press release expressed his horror at the Al Jazeera reporter who had been shot dead the previous day. “This incredible tragedy reminds people of the need for a just solution to the Palestinian conflict, which is still ongoing 74 years after the Nakba,” the Patriarchate said. The term “Nakba” commonly used in Palestinian parlance describes the flight and expulsion of around 700,000 Arab Palestinians from the former British Mandate of Palestine.
The Latin Patriarchate linked its message with the assurance that it was praying for Abu Akleh’s soul and described the journalist as “an exemplary person in her duties and a strong voice for her people”. “We pray that the Palestinian people will find the path to freedom and peace,” the statement continued. Prayers are also prayed for the recovery of journalist Ali Samouri, who was also injured, and “for all journalists around the world who are courageous in doing their work.”
Abu Akleh, who comes from a family of Catholic Palestinians from Bethlehem, died on Wednesday while covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin in the West Bank. Her broadcaster Al Jazeera and the Palestinian Ministry of Health said she was killed by shots fired by Israeli soldiers. The Israeli army said it still had no information on who was responsible for the fatal shooting. An autopsy yielded no clear result to clarify this question. In its statement, the Patriarchate referred to eyewitness reports that the Israeli army was responsible. That Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem includes the autonomous Palestinian territories of Israel, Jordan and Cyprus and consists of almost 330,000 believers under the leadership of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa. (fxn)