Roberta Metsola says she raised issue of murdered Palestinian journalist during Israel visit

The President of the European Parliament spoke about Shireen Abu Akleh's murder, as well as her funeral, with both Israeli and Palestinian authorities

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola spoke with Israeli and Palestinian authorities on the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her visits to Israel and Ramallah.

A spokesperson for Metsola told MaltaToday that she raised the issue of her murder, as well as of her funeral, with both Israeli and Palestinian authorities during a delegation visit to Israel.

The spokesperson said that Metsola called for an investigation into her murder to be completed soon during the relevant meetings.

PEN Malta, the organisation that gathers writers and journalists in the fight for freedom of expression, had asked Roberta Metsola to protest the killing of Abu Akleh with the government of Israel. 

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who worked for Al Jazeera’s Arabic television channel, was hit by an Israeli live bullet on Wednesday morning, according to witnesses, as she covered an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Despite showing respect for Abu Akleh’s career, many media organisations were careful to avoid implicating Israel in the killing, despite assertions by Al Jazeera and witnesses who were with her that Abu Akleh had been killed by Israeli forces.

Metsola travelled to Israel and Palestine on a three-day visit from Sunday, during which she met with the respective country leaders.

On Monday Metsola addressed the Israeli parliament in a special session in Jerusalem. Her speech earned her wide applause, but she was also heckled by extremists.

However, she did not mention the murder of the Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh during her parliamentary address.

She also tip-toed around Israel’s decision to deny left-wing Spanish MEP Manu Pineda entry into Israel and Palestine.

Israeli authorities also refused the entire MEP delegation’s entry into Gaza. EU staff at the airports were told to turn around and go home because Israeli restrictions had made the visit untenable.

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