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A portrait of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh

A portrait of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh is pictured during a demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy to support Palestinians, in Athens on May 16, 2022. (Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP via Getty Images)

Al Jazeera Preparing ICC 'War Crimes' Case Against Israel for Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

"Targeting war correspondents, or journalists working in war zones or occupied territories by killing or physically assaulting them, is a war crime," the network says.

Andrea Germanos

The Al Jazeera Media Network announced Thursday it will submit to the International Criminal Court a case file regarding the killing of its veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.

Abu Akleh was shot dead on May 11 while covering a raid by Israeli forces on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. She was wearing a helmet and a blue protective vest clearly marked "Press."

Al Jazeera previously called the shooting "a blatant murder" that defies international law and warrants global condemnation.

The network said in its Thursday statement that it formed an international legal team preparing the murder case file for The Hague court.

The dossier, the statement says, will not be limited to Abu Akleh's shooting but will additionally include the May 2021 "bombing and total destruction" by Israeli forces of the network's office in Gaza "as well as the continuous incitements and attacks on its journalists operating in the occupied Palestinian territories."

"According to Article 8 of the Charter of the International Criminal Court," the document states, "targeting war correspondents, or journalists working in war zones or occupied territories by killing or physically assaulting them, is a war crime."

The Palestinian foreign ministry announced earlier in the week that it had already submitted a file to the ICC regarding Abu Akleh's death.

Al Jazeera's contention that the well-known journalist was targeted has been backed up by independent analyses.

A CNN investigation published this week and based on eyewitness accounts and assessments by a forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert suggests that Abu Akleh was intentionally fired upon. A separate review by The Associated Press came to the same conclusion.

The Palestinian Authority's investigation also determined that Abu Akleh was targeted by an Israeli sniper, an assertion Israel swiftly denied.

Israel, for its part, has asked for the fatal bullet to investigate, a request Palestinian authorities have rejected over lack of trust.

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