Shireen Abu Akleh: Al Jazeera asks International Criminal Court to probe journalist's killing

Access to the comments Comments
By AP  with Euronews
A Palestinian holds a light candle and a picture of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
A Palestinian holds a light candle and a picture of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Adel Hana, File

Al Jazeera has formally asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the fatal shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The Palestinian-American reporter was killed in May while covering Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin.

Al Jazeera has accused the Israeli government of specifically targeting its journalists, calling Abu Akleh’s death a war crime. 

The news outlet wants ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to investigate the reporter's killing, as well as last year's Israeli airstrike on Al Jazeera’s offices in the Gaza Strip.

“My family still doesn’t know who shot the deadly bullet,” Shireen’s niece, Lena, told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.

The family submitted their own request for an ICC investigation in September, while Palestinians have always blamed Israel for the killing.

The Israeli army admitted in September there was a “high possibility” that its soldier had killed the prominent journalist but said the shooting was accidental.

“No-one will investigate [Israeli] soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al-Jazeera,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in response to Tuesday’s filing.

Israel has always denied that Abu Akleh had been targeted, saying the soldier may have "misidentified her as armed Palestinian gunmen".

A UN report in June found that Abu Akleh had been standing with other reporters and was clearly identifiable as a journalist from her helmet and blue jacket when she was shot. Witness accounts and videos also show there was only limited militant activity in the area where the journalist was killed.

Last year, ICC prosecutors launched a formal investigation into allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza and the occupied West Bank after years of pressure.