(Al Jazeera) The Palestinian foreign ministry has announced it has formally asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
On May 11, Abu Akleh, 51, was covering an Israeli military raid near the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank when she was shot dead. Eyewitnesses and colleagues who were present at the scene said she was killed by Israeli forces.
“We have documented [the crime] and submitted a file about it to the ICC prosecutor alongside other Israeli violations,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Al-Maliki called on The Hague-based court to add Abu Akleh’s death to other crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians to facilitate an official investigation and bring Israel to accountability.
“Palestinians say the killing of Abu Akleh is war crimes indeed. They have referred the case to the ICC in addition to the dozens of other cases that have been filed over the last year or so…,” said Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
Al Jazeera says Abu Akleh was “assassinated in cold blood” by Israeli forces. The news network and the Palestinians have called for an independent and impartial probe into the killing, which has attracted global condemnation.
Mustafa Barghouti, general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, accused the ICC of a “double standard” in its handling of cases submitted by Palestinians.
“We have been providing information for the past 13 years but investigation has not been started yet. And in less than two months the ICC has sent 42 investigators to Ukraine,” Barghouti, a former Palestinian information minister, said.
Barghouti said that there was a need for strong international pressure on the ICC to initiate its work and investigate the crimes, including the crime of killing Shireen Abu Akleh.
“What we also need here is real pressure on Israeli establishment, a serious effort to establish sanctions and punitive acts against Israel, not to allow it to continue to be above international law.”