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27 Jun 2022 6:27
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  •   Home > News > International

    Al Jazeera says it will go to ICC over killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during Israeli raid in the West Bank

    The Al Jazeera news network says it will submit a case file to the International Criminal Court on the killing of its reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, adding to an earlier case that includes the bombing of their offices in Gaza.


    The Al Jazeera news network says it will submit a case file to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the killing of its reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead earlier this month during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

    Abu Akleh — a prominent Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter — was shot dead during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on May 11.

    The Qatar-based network and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have accused Israeli soldiers of deliberately killing her.

    Israel rejects those allegations as a "blatant lie", saying she was shot during a battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants.

    In a televised statement on Thursday, Al Jazeera announced that its legal team, alongside international legal experts, would prepare a file on the killing of Abu Akleh for submission to the ICC.

    Al Jazeera said the case file would also include the Israeli bombing of the building housing its offices in Gaza City during last year's war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, "as well as the continuous incitements and attacks on its journalists operating in the occupied Palestinian territories".

    The ICC launched an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes last year. Israel is not a member of the ICC and has rejected the probe as being biased against it. 

    "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," Al Jazeera said.

    Israel says it cannot determine whether Palestinian militants or its own soldiers fired the fatal shot unless the PA hands over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh for ballistic analysis.

    The PA has refused to cooperate with Israel in any way, saying it doesn't trust Israel to investigate itself.

    Refusal to cooperate with Israeli investigation

    The PA announced the results of its own probe on Thursday, saying Abu Akleh was deliberately killed by Israeli forces and that there were no militants in the area.

    Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz rejected the findings, saying "any claim that the IDF intentionally harms journalists or uninvolved civilians is a blatant lie", referring to the Israeli military. 

    Palestinian Attorney-General Akram Al Khateeb, in announcing the results of the probe, said the bullet that killed her was an armour-piercing 5.56-millimetre NATO round and that it appeared to have been fired by a Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle.

    The Israeli military declined to comment on whether the gun described by the Palestinians matches one the military has previously identified as having possibly fired the fatal shot.

    It also declined to say whether the army uses the Ruger Mini-14s or whether any were in use during the May 11 raid in which Abu Akleh was killed, in the West Bank town of Jenin.

    Israel has publicly called for a joint investigation with the PA, with US participation, and has asked the PA to hand over the bullet for testing. But the US State Department said on Wednesday, US time, that it had received no formal request for assistance from either side, two weeks after her death.

    Rights groups say Israel has a poor record of investigating when security forces shoot Palestinians, with cases often languishing for months or years before being quietly closed.

    The PA administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    ABC/wires


    ABC




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