Palestinian Rights Groups respond to IDF statement regarding killing of Al Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

London: The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), who in May were asked by the family of Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh to submit a new complaint to the International Criminal Court about the circumstances surrounding Shireen’s death on 11 May 2022, have today responded to the IDFs announcement that they will not pursue a Military Police Investigation into the killing. 


A long-time TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, Shireen was killed while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin. Independent investigations by Bellingcat, CNN, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have all found that evidence suggests that Abu Akleh was killed by a bullet fired by the IDF. While today’s statement from Israel affirms that the IDF accepts that there is a “high possibility” that this was the case, it states that no criminal investigation is to be carried out. 


Speaking following the report, Tayab Ali, Director of the ICJP and Partner at Bindmans LLP comments: 


“The latest Israeli statement on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh demonstrates exactly why an independent investigation into her killing by the ICC is needed. The IDF position continues to provide immunity to Israeli soldiers from proper investigations, and prosecution, even where evidence clearly points to a targeted killing. We will be imminently submitting a complaint to the ICC on behalf of Shireen and other journalists that have been targeted by Israel”. 


The new complaint will follow the April 2022 submission which requested that the ICC Prosecutor launch an investigation into the systematic targeting of journalists and media infrastructure in Palestine, submitted just days before Shireen was killed. The Group have retained leading lawyers from Bindmans LLP and Doughty Street Chambers to represent the victims at the ICC. 


In February 2021, the International Criminal Court ruled that its criminal jurisdiction extended to ‘the Situation in Palestine,’ and that its territorial scope covered allegations that occurred in ‘Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem’. This presents for the first time, a real opportunity for accountability regarding Israel’s alleged policy of targeting journalists, and could lead to a formal investigation by the ICC Prosecutor and potential prosecutions. 



Claddagh NicLochlainn


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