The media network employing slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Tuesday submitted a formal request before an international prosecuting body to investigate and prosecute the Israeli soldiers responsible for killing the reporter.
Israeli and U.S. probes determined that an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier shot and killed Abu Akleh, likely after misidentifying her as a legitimate target during a raid on Palestinian refugee camp in May, stopping short of attributing malicious intent. Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network is suing before the International Criminal Court to prove that Israel’s military explicitly targeted the Al Jazeera team covering the West Bank operation, according to Al Jazeera.
Israel’s military initially claimed an errant bullet, meant for Palestinian militants, struck Abu Akleh amid the crossfire. The new filing disputes that claim, alleging that no Palestinian militants were shooting at the IDF when a bullet hit Abu Akleh in the head. (RELATED: ‘Dangerous Cocktail’: Palestine’s Crumbling Government Is Fueling Violence Against Israel, Experts Say)
“The evidence shows that this deliberate killing was part of a wider campaign to target and silence Al Jazeera,” Al Jazeera said in the statement.
Tel Aviv refuted Al Jazeera’s attempts to investigate the IDF soldiers, according to Reuters.
“No one will interrogate IDF soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals of combat, certainly not the Al Jazeera Network,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said.
The FBI has also opened an investigation into Abu Akleh’s death, Axios reported in November. The U.S. Department of Justice had notified Israel’s foreign ministry that the FBI launched the probe, an unusual move that could involve requests by the U.S. to investigate Israeli soldiers, five sources briefed on the investigation 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,” Rodney Dixon KC, a lawyer for Al Jazeera, said in a statement.
The request for prosecution includes a dossier containing “all available eyewitness evidence and video footage,” as well as new information on Abu Akleh’s death, that Al Jazeera says will demonstrate a wider attempt to stymie the outlet’s reporting.
Al Jazeera published a documentary on the killing of Abu Akleh that appears to depict the reporter along with other journalists wearing vests marked “PRESS” walking down the streets of Jenin, in view of Israeli military forces, just before they came under fire.
“The evidence we submit looks at all of the acts against Al Jazeera because it has been targeted as an international media organization,” Dixon said. “And the evidence shows that what the [Israeli] authorities are trying to do is to shut it up.”
The IDF also wounded Ali al-Samoudi, an Al Jazeera producer who was among the team filming the Jenin raid with Abu Akleh, in the shoulder, according to Al Jazeera.
The IDF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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