The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

A Crime by the Israeli Army

May 23, 2022

This article is translated from the May 20 issue #2807 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group of that name active in France.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist with Al-Jazeera TV, was shot in the face on May 11 while reporting on an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank.

She was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “Press” and was indeed targeted as a journalist. According to Reporters Without Borders, she is the seventh journalist killed in Palestinian territory since 2018. Abu Akleh had denounced the violence of the Israeli state for more than twenty years. She was famous in the Middle East and throughout the Arab world. Her assassination aroused great emotion.

Thousands of Palestinians gathered for her funeral on May 13 in front of the hospital in East Jerusalem where her body lay. Israeli cops charged the crowd, raining baton blows on people including the pallbearers. The cops used smoke bombs and stun grenades and tore down Palestinian flags. Bullets wounded 13 Palestinians in and around Jenin.

This outbreak of violence reflects what Palestinians have experienced for weeks. Since March 22, following a series of attacks that have left 19 dead among the Israeli population, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has multiplied his gestures to the far right, where he originates. He is trying to save his government as the head of a heterogeneous coalition that goes from the religious right to the labor left, weakened by several defections. Traffic restrictions and humiliations have increased. Military sweeps and arrests have become daily occurrences in the West Bank, particularly Jenin. The Israeli government continues and intensifies its pro-settlement policy in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. On May 12, Bennett announced the construction of nearly 4,500 more housing units in West Bank settlements.

After the images of the lifeless body of the journalist were broadcast around the world, the U.S. and the European Union could only condemn her assassination and the brutality of the Israeli police during her funeral. But the great powers have nothing to say about the state terrorism that Israel’s leaders inflict daily on an entire people—because they are complicit in it.