Jakarta (ANTARA) - The New York Times published “Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian Journalist, dies, aged 51” article, May 11, on a Palestinian journalist killed by Israeli forces while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, West Bank, Palestine.

Other Western media outlets mostly also avoided mentioning Israeli forces that deliberately shot the Al Jazeera reporter in their titles in order to whitewash the Israeli crime against humanity for killing the reporter on duty.

The brutality of Israel occupying forces against Palestinians is notorious, including by targeting journalists. At least 45 journalists have been killed by Israeli forces since 2000 according to the Palestinian Ministry of Information as quoted by Aljazeera.

In May 2021, an Israeli air raid in the Gaza Strip demolished a tower that hosted several residential apartments and offices, including the bureaus of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.

The Indonesian Government, the Indonesian Journalists’ Association (PWI), and the Indonesian Ulema (Islamic scholars) Council (MUI) strongly condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.

"Indonesia strongly denounces the murder of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in the (Israel-) occupied West Bank," spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Teuku Faizasyah noted in a press briefing on May 12, 2022.

The Foreign Ministry pressed for an investigation into the shooting.

Faizasyah reiterated the importance of seeking an immediate solution to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.

PWI, in a statement, condemned the barbaric and inhumane killing of the Aljazeera journalist, saying that it violated the international humanitarian law.

"It is quite clear that Shireen Abu Akleh was wearing a vest reading 'PRESS'," PWI Chairman Atal S. Depari noted in a press statement on May 15, 2022.

"The track record of Shireen affirms that she was a journalist that could not let cruelty and injustice continue in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory, which is seemingly (considered) normal by Israeli forces," he emphasized.

For its part, the PWI urged the governments of Indonesia and other countries to denounce the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh.

The PWI chief expressed regret over the fact that several countries that consider themselves human rights champions had turned a blind eye to the incident.

"The silence of several countries, including European countries, considering themselves (to be) human rights champions is worth regretting, and we think that it is embarrassing in the era of transparency," he stressed.

PWI further urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe the fatal shooting of the Al Jazeera journalist.

Indonesian lawmaker Sukamta shared PWI’s view that the murder of Abu Akleh violated the international law.

"This is a very heinous crime and clearly violates international humanitarian law. Every press member on duty and especially those who have used press identities, must not be the target of violence by any party," he stated on May 12, 2022.

Israel killed the Palestinian journalist and bombed the officers of Aljazeera and AP in an attempt to cover up its crimes in the occupied Palestine, he said.

The PKS politician urged the Indonesian government to call for a transparent investigation involving the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the murder of Abu Akleh.

He also urged the United Nations to give a strong warning to Israel to stop its brutal actions against journalists and civil society.

The legislator believed that violence in Palestine will continue as long as Israel is still occupying the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, Ulemas, grouped in MUI, said the killing of the Al Jazeera journalist by the Israeli forces is concrete and undeniable proof of the Israeli forces’ continued terror acts against Palestinian people, including journalists.

The council’s international relations chief, Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim, remarked that Israel continued the terror to weaken the struggle of the Palestinians for freedom, as the Zionist entity wanted to occupy the entire Palestinian territories.

He called for international sanction against Israel occupying forces and urged Muslims, in particular, to support Palestine, and defend as well as protect Al Aqsa Mosque that is Islam’s third holiest site.

Last April, while Muslims were observing fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa compound and attacked worshipers in the mosque located in Jerusalem, Palestine. During Ramadan, Muslims usually spend more time praying in mosques.

Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, with medics reporting at least 158 Palestinians injured in the ensuing violence, as hundreds were detained.

The Israeli aggression prompted House Speaker Puan Maharani to call on the Indonesian Government to urge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to be more active to stop Israeli violence against Palestinians.

The government must continue to take concrete actions to help the Palestinian people, she emphasized.

"Indonesia can push the UN Security Council to take a more active stance to stop violence in Palestine," Maharani remarked.

Indonesia’s commitment to support and fight for Palestinian independence from Israeli occupation had been voiced during the Asia and Africa Summit held in Bandung on April 18-24, 1955.

She recalled that her grandfather, Indonesia's first President Soekarno, in his opening remarks during the Asia-Africa Conference 67 years ago, had urged that Asian and African countries must support the struggles for independence of those, who remained colonized in the two continents.

The Asian and African delegates had agreed to support Palestine's independence and pressed for immediate implementation of the UN resolutions on Palestine.

However, until now, Palestine remains occupied and the people are still facing discrimination and reeling from acts of violence committed by occupying Israeli forces.

Hence, Puan Maharani reminded the 29 member countries of the Asia and Africa Conference, including Indonesia, to fulfill their promise to help the Palestinian people in the struggle for independence.

"The liberation of Palestine from Israel's oppression will forever remain a debt to be repaid by Indonesia and other Asia-Africa Conference's participating countries that had pledged in Bandung," she stated.

The Indonesian Government issued a statement that strongly denounced Israeli security forces' violence against Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"The violence against civilians cannot be justified and must be stopped soon. Moreover, it occurred in a place of worship, Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the holy month of Ramadhan," the Indonesian Foreign Ministry noted on its official Twitter account on April 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Abdul Kharis Almasyhari condemned Israeli security forces' attack on Palestinian worshipers at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem (Al Quds).

"I, as Deputy Chairman of Commission I of DPR RI, condemn the barbarity and cruelty of the Israeli apartheid state, which has tarnished the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan and the Al Aqsa Mosque as the first kiblah (direction that is prayed to) of Muslims," Kharis Almasyhari stated on April 17, 2022.

Almasyhari noted that the brutal attack by the Israeli forces on the Al Aqsa Mosque resulted in injuries to hundreds of Palestinians, including journalists, medics, and female worshipers of the Al Aqsa mosque.

He said Israel's cruel actions, so far, cannot be justified, including the attacks on Palestinians at the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Related news: PWI denounces shooting of Al Jazeera journalist

The legislator also condemned Israel's systematic efforts to continue to displace Palestinians by destroying their homes in the West Bank and thousands of other crimes during the occupation of Palestine by Israel.

To this end, he urged the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to file a protest with the UN regarding the Israeli provocation.

Another condemnation was voiced by the Indonesian Muslim Preachers Association (IKADI) .

"(We) strongly denounce the raid by Israeli colonial forces on Aqsa Mosque, which is the holy site and the first qibla (direction for prayers) for Muslims," Chief of IKADI Central Executive Board Ahmad Kusyairi Suhail stated.

The IKADI also urged the Indonesian government to take a firm stand and concrete step to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as to stop the humanitarian tragedy in Palestine through the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other international organizations.

Related news: Indonesian MP condemns Israel attack on Al Aqsa mosque

Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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