Joint South Africa-Norway Statement on the Anniversary of the Killing of Ms Shireen Abu Akleh

South Africa and Norway join the international community in commemorating the killing of Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, in the Occupied West Bank .

Today, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of the Republic of South Africa and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, join the international community in commemorating the one-year anniversary of the killing of the Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist, Ms Shireen Abu Akleh on 11 May 2022.

Ms Akleh was shot while on assignment during an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) military operation in Jenin in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Samoudi, was wounded. We call again for those responsible to be held accountable.

South Africa and Norway stress the importance of protecting journalists and freedom of the press. The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential, and attacks against members of the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity.

Journalists operating in conflict zones are, like other civilians, entitled to protection against the effects of warfare, according to international humanitarian law. According to these rules, directing attacks against civilians is prohibited, as is conducting an attack not in keeping with the Principle of Distinction and other obligations of international humanitarian law.

The South African and Norwegian governments remain unequivocally committed to and values efforts aimed at reviving a political process, leading to a negotiated two-state solution, with two states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side in peace and security within internationally recognised borders, based on the 1967 lines, relevant UN resolutions, international law and internationally agreed parameters.