Somehow the Flowers were Silent

Somehow the Flowers were Silent


Somehow the Flowers were Silent

I nDíl Chuimhne  / Lest we Forget

Shireen Abu Akleh,

correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic

assassinated on May 11, 2022, Jenin Camp,

in the Occupied West Bank.


Somehow even the flowers

fell silent, silenced

in their purple solitude

on the noisy crackling laneway

between life and death.

Everywhere now, it seems,

there are soldiers in their bunkers taking aim.

Everywhere now it seems to rain cold killers

in their catastrophes

complaining of the dead.

Well”, they might say, “too loud-mouthed,

too light-hearted, too dark-skinned,  too many, too-militant, too much joy,

too much justice, too many tales to tell...”

O, who knows what these gunmen said

to the silent flowers that sad day

waving their soft purple petals like flags

over the news of the dying.


That cold dark day at the gates to Jenin.


Somehow, all this time later,

in this time of war, i imagine

this last protest

after all the lies have regurgitated

their last meal

after these dumb politicians have swallowed

their own speeches (in shame)

after all the dead have gone silently

to their rest…

when even the cruel bullets will bite their

own bloody tongues


i imagine then the small flowers


at nightfall,

when the cameras

have left,

fade, fade softly and silently

in their grief

to wander this planet

in search of hope.


séamas carraher – 19  october 2023


ph by Al Jazeera Media Network, CC BY-SA 4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Image (Shireen Abu Akleh)

Al Jazeera Media Network, CC BY-SA 4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons



Public Domain – IDF content and released to Public domain by the Israeli Defence Forces Spokesperson’s Unit.

Wikimedia Commons



They were shooting directly at the journalists’: New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces” CNN, May 24/26, 2022, reporting on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, journalist, killed by a gunshot to the head on the morning of May 11, 2022

CNN, 24, May, 2022

CNN – YouTube Link


Report (5 September 2023)

“The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel “concluded on reasonable grounds that Israeli forces used lethal force without justification under international human rights law”, it said in a report released on Monday.”

Al Jazeera, October 16, 2023


Report of the Independent International Commission ofInquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel


Case of Shireen Abu Akleh (Sections 39-47)


  1. During law enforcement operations, lethal force is only permissible in self-defence or to protect the lives of others. In the case of Abu Akleh, the Commission concludes without doubt that Abu Akleh and the other journalists did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to anyone and that there was no gunfire originating from Abu Akleh’s location or from near her. The Commission concludes on reasonable grounds that the Israeli security forces used lethal force without justification under international human rights law and intentionally or recklessly violated the right to life of Shireen Abu Akleh.


  1. In an occupation, the wilful killing of a protected person constitutes a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and is a war crime. Abu Akleh and other journalists, who were clearly identifiable as journalists, were protected persons. Furthermore, under the doctrine of command responsibility, a military commander may be held criminally responsible for crimes committed by subordinates under his effective command and control, where the commander knew or should have known that the subordinates were committing crimes and he failed to prevent the commission of the crimes or to submit the matter to the competent

authorities for investigation and prosecution. (Rome Statute, art. 28 (a))


Report Link


Links / Other Video


The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh | Fault Lines Documentary (Al Jazeera / 2023)


Shireen Abu Akleh talks about her journey as a journalist | Middle East Eye


Israeli forces attack funeral of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqla  | BBC News (2022) (BBC)


How Journalists Investigated the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh


Israel releases report: Army admits Israeli gunfire likely killed journalist (September 2022)  – Al Jazeera


Image (“flowers in their purple solitude”)

from CNN Report, May 31, 2022

New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead in targeted attack by Israeli forces

Video of May 11, CNN,  May 31, 2022








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