Al Jazeera submits official complaint to The Hague for murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

The international broadcasting and news station Al Jazeera submitted an official complaint this week in the case of the murder of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces last May, to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Qatar-based broadcaster emphasized that this step comes after its legal team revealed evidence that makes it clear that a live shot was fired at Shireen and her fellow journalists by the Israeli occupation forces, and that the claim that she was killed by a stray round in the midst of a gunfight the Israeli army and Palestinian militants, is not true at all.

Lina Abu Akleh, Shireen’s niece, said that in her opinion the time has come to come to hold the State of Israel accountable for its actions, as it has a long history of attacking journalists in order to silence them.

The complaint to The Hague comes six months after Abu Akleh was murdered in Jenin, and after the FBI announced a few weeks ago the opening of an independent and serious investigation into the incident.

Al Jazeera claimed at a press conference that the investigation it carried out proves that there was no exchange of fire or shooting in the area where Shireen was standing, with the exception of the shots fired from the direction of the Israeli occupation forces who which fired directly at Shireen and her colleagues. Shireen and her fellow journalists were in an open place and were walking on the side of the road as a group at a slow pace, while wearing protective gear and helmets with the inscription “PRESS,” clearly identifying them as journalists.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague the results of their investigation into the murder of Abu Akleh, which concluded that her murder qualifies as a war crime. In addition, several months ago, international lawyers submitted an official complaint to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in The Hague regarding the murder of Abu Akleh on behalf of the Palestinian Journalists Union and Palestinian human rights organizations.

The Israeli government itself, after releasing countless contradictory statements, eventually admitted that the Palestinian-American journalist was murdered “with a fairly high probability” by IDF soldiers but claimed that the shooting was unintentional and did not take direct responsibility.

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