A book of condolences will be opened in Athens for Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot while reporting from the field on Wednesday, the Diplomatic Representation of Palestine announced on Thursday.
The book will be available at the Palestinian Embassy at 31 Marathonodromon Street, in Paleo Psychico, on Friday (4-8 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
In addition to the book of condolences at the embassy, a virtual condolences book is already open at the embassy’s main email address [email protected], and it will stay open until Saturday.
Abu Akleh suffered a gunshot wound to the head in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday. Al Jazeera and Qatar, where the news network is based, accused Israeli troops of the killing.
The 51-year-old journalist became a household name synonymous with Al Jazeera’s coverage of life under occupation during her more than two decades reporting in the Palestinian territories, including during the second intifada, or uprising, that killed thousands on both sides, most of them Palestinians.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that Israeli authorities were “fully responsible” for the killing of the veteran reporter during clashes and called for an international investigation.
Israel, which has voiced regret at Abu Akleh’s death, said that the fatal shot might have been fired by a Palestinian gunman. It has proposed a joint investigation with the Palestinians, asking them to provide the bullet for examination.
“We rejected the joint investigation with the Israeli occupation authorities because they committed the crime and because we don’t trust them,” said Abbas during an official memorial ceremony for Abu Akleh, who was Palestinian-American.
He added that the Palestinian Authority “will go immediately to the International Criminal Court in order to track down the criminals.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed that the Palestinian Authority had rejected a shared investigation.
“I reiterate my expectation for open, transparent and full cooperation regarding the findings,” he said in a statement.
Abu Akleh, 51, was wearing a blue vest clearly marked “Press” while reporting in Jenin, Al Jazeera said. She was covering the latest arrest operation launched by the Israeli military amid deadly Arab attacks in Israel. Another Palestinian journalist at the scene, Ali Samoodi, was wounded.
The body of Abu Akleh was driven in a motorcade from a hospital in the Palestinian hub city of Ramallah towards Abbas’s compound. Hundreds of mourners lined both sides of the road, some throwing flowers.
The death drew international and Arab condemnation, including from the White House, which demanded a “comprehensive investigation.”
Although she was also a US citizen who often visited America in the summers, she lived and worked in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, where those who knew her said she felt most at home. A Palestinian Christian whose family was originally from Bethlehem, she was born and raised in Jerusalem. She leaves behind a brother. [AMNA, Reuters, AP]