Date:11 May 2022
Reporting the assassination of the Palestinian journalist: Shireen Abu Akleh.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) highly appreciates your keenness and the keenness of the permanent International Criminal Court to narrow the scope of impunity.
With regard to the above subject, we would like to inform you of the circumstances of the assassination of the journalist: Sherine Abu Akleh “Al-Jazeera correspondent”, in order to urge you, in the name of humanity and justice, to conduct preliminary investigations to complete the course of the preliminary study launched by your office years ago, considering that starting the preliminary investigation will deter the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Israeli military occupation forces stormed Jenin camp at 6:45 am this Wednesday, May 11, 2022, and directly targeted a number of journalists covering the events, despite wearing blue jackets with distinctive badges and protective helmets. The directly targeting resulted in injuring the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh (51 years), with a live bullet in the head, and the journalist Ali Sadiq Salim Smoudi (55 years), who works as a producer for Al-Jazeera, with a live bullet in the back.
Due to the occupation forces obstructing providing first aid to the injured by deliberately continuing to shoot at anyone who tried to approach them (as shown in the visual documentation), ambulances were able to transport the two injured to Bin Sina Hospital in Jenin. At around 7:15 am, the medical staff in the hospital announced the death of journalist Abu Akleh of her injuries.
In the same context, the Palestinian Forensic Medicine Institute confirmed the preliminary results of the autopsy of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, that the bullet that hit her was a direct lethal bullet, which caused extensive lacerations to the brain and skull.
Several videos documenting the crime or part of it showed that the location of journalist Sherine Abu Akleh and her colleagues was not a location of armed clashes, and that the source of the shooting came from the Israeli occupation forces side.
The location of the injury “below the ear” is an open area, not covered by the helmet, which indicates that the targeting of Abu Akleh was deliberate and not random. All of these indicators refute the Israeli government’s allegations regarding the murder of journalist Shireen Abu Alaka.
Moreover, the Israeli announcement to open an investigation into the crime, can’t be trusted in light of the experiences of the operational investigation system followed by the occupation forces, which enjoy unprecedented immunity from the Israeli judiciary.
In addition to all field facts which confirm that the Israeli military occupation forces executed the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the old and present Israeli behavior towards journalists and civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories clearly indicates the Israeli desire, planning, and implementation of crimes against journalists, where since the beginning of 2000 to date, the Israeli occupation has killed 23 journalists working in the occupied Palestinian territories in its quest to assassinate the truth.
Those who follow up the Israeli crimes and violations are certain that its warlike behavior towards journalists, media professionals and journalistic institutions operating in Palestine reflects Israeli plans that deliberately target journalists to limit their ability to report field facts.
ICSPR is addressing you today in the name of humanity and justice as indivisible moral and legal values, to urge you to:
- Include the murder of the journalist Sherine Abu Akleh to the file of grave and serious violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Take clear public positions regarding the crimes of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian civilians, including journalists, emphasizing that these crimes amount to war crimes stipulated in the Rome Statute, and that the occupation deliberately undermines the international protection granted to journalists under the Geneva Conventions and its protocols.
- Take a step forward on the Palestinian track, by actually starting preliminary investigations, which would achieve the required deterrence to limit Israeli military plans that contradict the principles of international humanitarian law.
Disrupting or delaying the work of the principle of international accountability means encouraging the Israeli occupation forces to commit more crimes described in the Statute of the Court, the four Geneva Conventions, especially the Fourth Convention of 1949 and the First Additional Protocol of 1977.