Al Jazeera asks ICC to investigate Shireen Abu Akleh's death

Al Jazeera asks ICC to investigate Shireen Abu Akleh's death
Credit: Al Jazeera Media Network/Wikimedia Commons.

Seven months after journalist Shireen Abu Akleh died after being shot in the head while covering an Israeli army raid, Al Jazeera has requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate her death and prosecute the Israeli soldiers responsible for her killing.

In May of this year, Al Jazeera's Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was shot in the head while wearing the trademark "PRESS"  blue vest during an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank.

In the days that followed, Israeli officials stated that her death was the result of a crossfire between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian militants, as was concluded by an internal army probe.

However, other organisations, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN have since denied this. An independent investigation launched by the latter claimed that Abu Akleh's death had been the result of a targeted shot by the IDF.

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In September, the Israeli military reached their own conclusion that she had been killed by a stray bullet fired by their own soldiers, but declined to open a further criminal investigation into the matter, as American officials had requested.

As a result, Abu Akleh's employer, the Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera, has decided to file a formal request with the ICC to "examine and prosecute those responsible" for the reporter's death.

Al Jazeera's lawyer, Rodney Dixon, claimed that the incident was part of the Israeli army's "wider campaign" to target Palestinian journalists and Al Jazeera, who have reportedly handed their own findings to the ICC, the result of "a six-month investigation" into Abu Akleh's death.

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