Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel (the name literally means “The Peninsula,” referring to the Qatari Peninsula) on Tuesday submitted a formal request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague “to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killing veteran Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.”
Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir told The Jewish Press in response: “The Aljazeera network not only covers the news in an anti-Semitic way, distorts the truth and publishes lies, they also work against the State of Israel around the world. This propaganda network should be expelled from the country and not given the opportunity to continue its anti-Israel campaign of lies.”
According to Al Jazeera, the request “includes a dossier on a comprehensive six-month investigation by Al Jazeera that gathers all available eyewitness evidence and video footage as well as new material on the killing of Abu Akleh.”
Last Thursday, the network said it had formed an international coalition that consists of its legal team along with international experts and was also going to ask the ICC to investigate “the Israeli bombing “and total destruction” of Al Jazeera’s office in Gaza in May 2021, during Israel’s 11-day assault on Gaza.”
Al Jazeera attorney Rodney Dixon KC said, “It’s not a single incident, it’s a killing that is part of a wider pattern that the prosecution should be investigating to identify those who are responsible for the killing and to bring charges against them. The focus is on Shireen, and this particular killing, this outrageous killing. But the evidence we submit looks at all of the acts against Al Jazeera because it has been targeted as an international media organization. And the evidence shows that what the [Israeli] authorities are trying to do is to shut it up.”
Abu Akleh’s family submitted an official complaint to the ICC on September 20.
In mid-November, the Biden administration informed Israel the FBI was investigating the death of Abu Akleh, who was killed in May when she was covering an IDF raid on terrorists in Jenin. This after last May, 57 Democratic members of Congress demanded that the FBI look into whether the IDF had broken any American laws (Democrats Pressure FBI to Investigate Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death, Gantz Shows Unexpected Backbone).
Defense Minister Benny Gantz reacted in a tough tweet that betrayed his personal grievance: “The decision of the US Department of Justice to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a grave mistake. The IDF conducted an independent and professional investigation, which was presented to the Americans who shared the details.”
An Al Jazeera “documentary” titled, “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh,” claims Abu Akleh and other journalists, wearing protective helmets and bulletproof vests clearly marked with the word “PRESS,” were walking down a road in view of Israeli forces when they came under fire. But it does not necessarily prove that, as the channel claims, “Shireen and her colleagues were directly fired at by the Israeli Occupation Forces.”
I decided to include the YouTube film, it does not mean I endorse the content, but it will most likely be submitted as part of the “evidence” to the ICC.