Shireen Abu Akleh: Dozens attend 'moving' UK service for Palestinian journalist killed by Israel
A memorial service in the UK honouring slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was attended by dozens of people in London on Tuesday.
The 'Service of Thanksgiving' at St Bride Church on Fleet Street - long associated with the area's journalist community - included words from her Al Jazeera colleague Ali al-Samoudi, who was shot alongside Akleh while covering a raid on Jenin refuge camp on 11 May.
It also featured Palestinian artist Reem Kilani and Lina Abu Akleh, her niece who said she was threatened by Israeli forces during the funeral for Abu Akleh in Jersualem.
Incredibly moving memorial to honour Palestinian journalist Shireeen Abu Akleh, murdered by Israeli occupation forces. Wonderful to hear from her niece @LinaAbuAkleh, friends, & colleagues at @stbrideschurch.— Joseph Willits (@josephwillits) June 28, 2022
Honour her & support Palestinian journalists: https://t.co/070oac2b1f pic.twitter.com/1yDJ8SsetR
Attendees included the UK’s Palestine Ambassador Husam Zomlot, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as well as other UK politicians and civil society members.
"It was very moving," Zomlot told The New Arab.
The ambassador said the service allowed people from all walks of life to remember the journalist and call for justice, showing the "universality" of her case to "British society".
"It's important for keeping the flame, the issue, of Shireen alive," Zomlot said. She is one of over 40 journalists slain by Israeli forces in the last two decades, he added.
A programme showed some of those killed during this period including Youssef Abu Hussein, slaughtered in 2021 during Israeli airstrikes, and Yaser Murtaja, shot dead by an Israeli sniper while covering the Gaza border protests in 2018 and wearing a flak jacket marked 'PRESS'.
I attended today the thanksgiving service for the life of Shireen Abu Akleh, the highly respected Palestinian journalist killed by the Israeli Security Services. It was a moving remembrance of her life, dedicated to journalism that bore witness to injustice and upheld humanity. pic.twitter.com/3K9MWS5K7r— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) June 28, 2022
The United Nations and several major media organisations, including The New York Times and CNN, have concluded that Akleh was most likely shot by Israeli forces.
However, Israel has so far failed to hold anyone to account for her death, despite multiple witnesses reporting that Israeli forces were responsible for her killing.
"The UK government's position is incomplete and their action is zero," Zomlot told this newspaper.
'The UK government has failed to act in response to Shireen's killing, despite its legal responsibilities to do so,' says Britain’s Palestinian ambassador
As a signatory to the United Nations, "they have a legal responsibility to act", he added.
The ambassador called on the British government to push for an international investigation into Shireen’s murder by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was "set up for this purpose", he added.
The UK government, on the week after the journalist's killing, called for "a thorough investigation into events", without giving details on who should conduct the probe.