On Saturday, Dahdouh returned to his reporting duties with his injured arm and just moments after bidding farewell to his slain lifelong colleague.
Al Jazeera is referring the case of Israel’s killing of its cameraman in Gaza, Samer Abu Daqqa, to the International Criminal Court, the network announced in a statement on Saturday.
“Al Jazeera Media Network has instructed its legal team to urgently refer the case of the assassination of its cameraman in Gaza, Samer AbuDaqa to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague,” the statement said.
“Al Jazeera affirms its commitment to pursuing all options possible to bring those responsible for the crime of Samer’s assassination to the International Criminal Court and to ensure that appropriate legal penalties are imposed on them,” Al Jazeera added.
Abu Daqqa, 45, who served as a cameraman with Aljazeera for 20 years, succumbed to his injuries on Friday after being hit by an Israeli strike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.
The late cameraman was injured alongside Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, Wael Dahdouh, while they were covering an Israeli attack on the Farhana school in Gaza.
Dahdouh’s arm was injured by shrapnel from the Israeli air strike and Palestinians managed to get him to the Nasser Hospital in Gaza, where he underwent surgery.
Abu Daqqa was left trapped inside the school for six hours as Israeli forces prevented medics from reaching him through nonstop shelling. The ambulances had to receive prior approval to reach Abu Daqqa, according to Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera established a joint working group on December 16 that includes its international legal team and experts to compile “a comprehensive file for submission to the court’s prosecutor”.
It added that the file it submitted to The Hague will also include “the recurrent attacks” on Al Jazeera’s crew in the occupied Palestinian territories in addition to “instances of incitement against them”.
“According to Article 8 of the Charter of the International Criminal Court, the deliberate targeting of war correspondents or journalists working in war zones or occupied territories through killing or intentional physical assault constitutes a war crime,” Al Jazeera added.
Al Jazeera’s staff have been on the receiving end of threats and attacks for the network’s round-the-clock coverage of the atrocities on the ground.
Israel had announced the south to be a safe zone before the attack. Dahdouh found out about the killing of his family members while he was reporting on live television. On Saturday, Dahdouh returned to his reporting duties with his injured arm and just moments after bidding farewell to his lifelong colleague, Abu Daqqa.
“We are carrying this human message, we are carrying this noble message,” Dahdouh said in his eulogy during the funeral.
“We will continue to do our duty with professionalism and transparency,” he added.
Meanwhile, on October 31, Israel killed 19 family members of Al Jazeera Arabic’s broadcast engineer, Mohamed Abu Al-Qumsan, during a massacre at the Jabalia camp.
The Israeli attack killed Al-Qumsan’s father, two sisters, eight nephews and nieces, his brother, his brother’s wife and their four children, his sister-in-law, and one uncle.
Israel then killed 22 family members of Al Jazeera Arabic’s correspondent, Moamen Al Sharafi, on December 6 in an attack on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.
On December 11, Israeli forces killed the father of Al Jazeera journalist Anas Al-Sharif in a strike in northern Gaza, two weeks after occupation forces threatened to target him.
The targeting of journalists has intensified since the start of the Israeli genocide on Gaza on October 7.
Israel has killed 57 Palestinian journalists in Gaza since the beginning of the war, according to figures published by the Committee to Protect Journalists on Saturday. But the International Federation of Journalists counted at least 68 journalists. Over 70% of all media deaths this year happened in Gaza, according to IFJ.
As of Saturday, Israel has killed at least 18,800 Palestinians in Gaza, according to Palestine’s health authorities.
Euro-Med reported a much higher figure on Thursday of nearly 25,000, including more than 9,643 children and those who are presumed dead under the rubble. The European rights organisation has not updated the figure since December 14.