The family of journalist Al Jazeera was killed Shireen Abu Akleh filed a formal complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking justice for her murder.
Abu Akleh, who had been with Al Jazeera for 25 years and known as “the voice of Palestine”, was shot in the head and killed by Israeli forces on the ground. May 11 while she was covering an army raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
She was wearing a thin coat and helmet and it was clear she was a member of the press. Al Jazeera’s cameraman Ali al-Samoudi, who was standing near her with a group of Palestinian journalists, was also shot in the back but has since recovered.
Speaking before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Tuesday, Abu Akleh’s brother Anton said they would do whatever was necessary to ensure accountability for her murder.
Anton Abu Akleh said: “Like we have said before, and like other reports have said before, more than 16 shots were fired towards Shireen and the media and her colleagues. those who are siding with that ally. “They even targeted the person trying to pull her to safety after she was shot down.”
He went on to say that the Israeli soldiers were able to identify who Abu Akleh was.
“She is in full condition, and she has been well documented by the press,” he said. “Anyone who shoots at the press is intentionally killing them.”
According to Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, the ICC decided in 2021 that it has jurisdiction over violence and war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“That is why Palestinian journalists and the government hope that there will be an investigation here into these cases, including the case of Shireen Abu Akleh,” Vaessen said at The Hague in the Netherlands. Lan.
The lawsuit is supported by the Palestine Press Association and the International Federation of Journalists (JFJ).
Jim Boumhelha, former president of the IFJ, said it was a “historic day” not only for Abu Akleh’s family, but for Palestinian journalists who have received attacks by Israeli forces.
He told Al Jazeera: “We hope that those inside the prosecution will take very seriously the document that we have given them. “This is the first phase, and we are going through the motions.”
Boumhelha said that the pursuit of justice for Palestinian journalists in Israeli courts has never been fruitful, due to the lack of an honest and trustworthy due process.
“Every lawsuit that some journalists bring to the Israeli courts has been fruitless,” he said. “This is an international court, by all the countries and all the people in the world.”
At the end of May, Al Jazeera filed a case at the ICC to address the killing of Abu Akleh.
‘We need a US and ICC investigation’
Abu Akleh is also a US citizen, but President Joe Biden – who has denied family requests to meet face-to-face twice – and his administration have refused to conduct an independent investigation.
“It seems the reason her case has not been given priority to the US government is because of who she is and by whom she was killed,” said Anton Abu Akleh. “There’s nothing mysterious about what happened to Shireen except for the real name and identity of her killer.”
Anton mentioned numerous investigations carried out by the United Nations, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, and major news agencies that concluded that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli soldier.
“Israel cannot investigate its own crimes and it is time for the international community to take a stand and hold these people accountable,” he said. “We need a US and ICC investigation to hold Israel accountable.”
In early September, the Israeli authorities said that there was a “High probability” that their forces killed Abu Akleh, but said they would not open a criminal investigation.
One of the lawyers for the Abu Akleh family, Jennifer Robinson, told the media that the ICC must end Israel’s punishment.
“There is no independent investigation and this investigation and the prosecution of those responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh will provide a deterrent to the targeting of future journalists, ” she said.
“The killing of journalists is an attempt to cover up and prevent their work in documenting human rights abuses and to promote retribution for the injustices they are seeking to cover up. “