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Over 100 leading artists, including Hollywood stars, denounce Israel’s killing of Palestinian journalist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

More than 100 leading artists from across the world have condemned Israel’s killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, demanding accountability for the regime’s crimes, days after Israeli forces shot dead veteran journalist in the occupied West Bank.

The artists, including Hollywood stars, acclaimed authors and prominent musicians, condemned the murder in a joint statement on Thursday.

Abu Akleh, a veteran of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network's Arabic service, was shot in the head on May 11, when she was reporting on an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp.

Her tragic death sent shockwaves across the region, drawing global condemnation. The United Nations and the European Union, among others, have called for a full investigation into what has been described as a deliberate killing “in cold blood.”

“We are deeply disturbed by the Israeli occupation forces’ killing of the highly respected Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as she arrived, wearing a clearly marked press vest, to report on an Israeli incursion in the occupied city of Jenin last Wednesday. As we grieve her loss, we call for full accountability for the perpetrators of this crime and everyone involved in authorizing it,” the statement read.

Pedro Almodovar, Susan Sarandon, Tilda Swinton, Mark Ruffalo, Eric Cantona, Miriam Margolyes, Jim Jarmusch, Naomi Klein and Peter Gabriel, among others, called for “meaningful measures to ensure accountability for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and all other Palestinian civilians.”

The artists and public figures said “Israeli forces have killed 45 journalists since 2000, injuring many more, simply for doing their job”, lambasting a “pattern of violence, harassment, and intimidation against Palestinian journalists” by the Israeli regime.

Main human rights groups, including Israel’s leading human rights organization B’Tselem, have already described the pattern as a system of apartheid imposed on the Palestinian people.

“We call on our governments to end their hypocrisy and to act with consistency in the application of international law and human rights. We call on them to take meaningful measures to ensure accountability for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and all other Palestinian civilians. There must be no double standards when it comes to the basic human right to freedom from persecution and oppression and the right to life and to dignity,” the artists said. 

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