Al Jazeera will refer the killing of reporter Shireen Abu Akleh to International Criminal Court


Qatar’s Al Jazeera news network says it will refer the killing of its journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to the International Criminal Court.

Ms Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter for the network, was shot dead during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on 11 May.

Al Jazeera said its submission to the court will also include the Israeli bombing and destruction of its office in Gaza in May last year, as well as the “continuous incitements and attacks” on its journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“According to Article 8 of the Charter of the International Criminal Court, targeting war correspondents, or journalists working in war zones or occupied territories by killing or physically assaulting them, is a war crime,” the media company said.

“Al Jazeera Media Network condemns the killing of our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh, who worked with the network for 25 years as a professional journalist covering the ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The network vows to follow every path to achieve justice for Shireen, and ensure those responsible for her killing are brought to justice and held accountable in all international justice and legal platforms and courts.”

It comes as the Palestinian Authority said its investigation shows Ms Abu Akleh had been deliberately shot by an Israeli soldier, a claim Israel denies.


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The Israeli army has previously said the 51-year-old, who was wearing a press vest clearly identifying her as a journalist, might have been shot accidentally by one of its soldiers or by a Palestinian militant.

But Palestinian Attorney General Akram al Khatib said there were no militants close to Ms Abu Akleh when she died, adding: “The only source of fire in that place came from the occupation forces with the intention to kill.”

Mr al Khatib said the fatal bullet was fired from a semi-automatic rifle used by the Israeli military, but Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter: “Any claim that the Israeli Defence Force intentionally harms journalists or uninvolved civilians is a blatant lie.”

He called for Palestinian officials to cooperate with Israel in the investigation by releasing the bullet so tests could be done to see if it matched an Israeli military gun.

Palestinian officials have refused, saying they do not trust Israel.

“I continue to call on the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet and findings,” Mr Gantz said.

“We are prepared and willing to conduct an investigation in collaboration with international actors.”


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