Israel will soon face a lawsuit at the ICC.
The International Federation of Journalists( IFJ) will be a partner in a lawsuit filed against Israel following the heinous murder of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestine’s news agency (WAFA) reported on Sunday.
This comes after the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate succeeded in persuading the federation to collaborate on a lawsuit against Israel in the International Criminal Court, said Ali Youssef, member of the Executive Board of IFJ.
“Palestinian journalists are fighters who face on a daily basis the aggression of the occupation in all fields as well as the main project of the occupation to expel the Palestinians from their land,” Youssef told official Palestine TV.
Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead by Israeli forces while she was covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin city. Her demise sparked outrage around the world and sent shockwaves throughout the region.
Palestinian authorities, numerous human rights organisations, and media sources, including The New York Times and The Washington Post have come to the conclusion that Israeli forces were responsible for the death of the journalist.
The United Nations human rights investigation recently concluded that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli forces, which was backed by testimonies from several eyewitnesses.
The official findings of the Palestinian investigation into Israel’s assassination of Abu Akleh were presented to the ICC prosecutor last month by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki.
Maliki asked that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, including those targeting civilians, children, women, journalists, medics, and other protected groups, be brought to account internationally at a meeting with ICC Public Prosecutor Karim Khan on 9 June in The Hague.
Pressure on ICC
Meanwhile, in a statement to Doha News, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the International Criminal Court to pursue ongoing Israeli violations against Palestinians after the United Nation Human Rights Office published findings on the killing of Abu Akleh.
HRW has “documented the routine use of excessive force by the Israeli armed forces and their pattern of indiscriminate fire that has injured and killed journalists in the past,” Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at HRW, told Doha News last week.
“All the evidence, including multiple serious, independent investigations, point to Israeli forces having gunned down Shireen Abu Akleh.
“The killing and assault on Abu Akleh’s funeral procession took place amid a larger context where serious abuses are being committed with impunity. Victims of these grave abuses have faced a wall of impunity in Israel over many decades,” he added.
Abu Akleh’s killing prompts the urgent need of ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor to advance its investigation “into serious crimes in Palestine,” he added.
The ICC, Shakir argues, was created precisely to address instances like this, where the violations are dire and the “climate of impunity is pervasive.”
“Robustly pursuing the Palestine investigation is crucial to the ICC’s very legitimacy,” Shakir told Doha News.
Despite evidence from various sources, the Israeli government has not been held accountable for the journalist’s murder nor the widespread crackdown on mourners that followed, especially at her mass funeral.
One of the pallbearers who carried Abu Akleh’s coffin was later detained and interrogated by the Zionist regime.
Israel has said it will not be initiating a criminal investigation into the funeral attacks despite global outrage.