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Death of Shireen Abu Akleh: Al Jazeera submits the case to the ICC prosecutor

The channel says material passed to the ICC highlights "new evidence and video footage clearly showing that Shireen Abu Akleh and his colleagues were fired upon directly by Israeli occupying forces" on May 11.

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Death of Shireen Abu Akleh: Al Jazeera submits the case to the ICC prosecutor

The channel says material passed to the ICC highlights "new evidence and video footage clearly showing that Shireen Abu Akleh and his colleagues were fired upon directly by Israeli occupying forces" on May 11.

That day, the star journalist of Al Jazeera was killed by a bullet in the head during an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank.

"The Israeli authorities' claim that Shireen was mistakenly killed in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded," the channel added.

The Israeli army, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, first acknowledged in September that there was a "strong possibility" that Shireen Abu Akleh, who also held US citizenship, had been killed by one of his soldiers, but certainly not deliberately.

The day of her death, at 51, the journalist was covering armed clashes triggered by an Israeli military operation in the Jenin camp, a stronghold of the Palestinian armed factions, where a special unit was trying to apprehend "suspects".

The journalist, a Christian, was equipped with a bulletproof vest with the wording "press" and a helmet, and the Palestinian Authority and Al Jazeera immediately accused the Israeli army of having killed her.

Israel continued to reject this accusation, despite journalistic investigations and a UN report concluding that an Israeli fire had been fired, which however excluded that it was deliberate, until the army conceded in September not have "unequivocal" certainty about the origin of the fatal shot at the journalist.

An AFP journalist in The Hague saw a lawyer representing Al Jazeera enter the ICC headquarters on Tuesday to submit the case. The Court has no obligation to deal with it.

Lina Abu Akleh, the journalist's niece, urged the ICC to investigate her aunt's death at a press conference in The Hague.

"The evidence is extremely clear and we expect the ICC to act," she said, indicating that she had asked to meet ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.

"My family still doesn't know who fired the fatal bullet and who was in the chain of command that killed my aunt," she added.

Rodney Dixon, the lawyer mandated by Al Jazeera, considered for his part that there was an "attempt to completely conceal" the circumstances of the death of the journalist on the part of Israel.

The journalist's death stems from "a systematic and large-scale campaign" by Israel against Al Jazeera, he said, also referring to the destruction of the building that housed the Qatari channel's office in Gaza during an Israeli bombardment in 2021.

“There is clearly an attempt to shut down Al Jazeera and silence it,” he added to the press, while saying he believed “that justice would be done for Shireen”.

Me Dixon said he had not yet had a formal meeting with a member of the prosecutor's office but had submitted evidence, some on memory cards.

After receiving complaints from individuals or groups of individuals, the ICC Attorney General independently decides which cases to submit to the judges of the Court.

It is then up to these judges to decide whether or not the prosecutor should open a preliminary investigation, which may be followed by a full investigation and, if necessary, one or more indictments.

However, according to the ICC, without the majority of cases, these complaints do not lead to investigations.

In November, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the Justice Ministry's decision to investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh a "mistake".

“We will not cooperate with an external investigation, and will not allow interference in internal investigations,” added Mr. Lapid, whose country is not a party to the Rome treaty which established the ICC.

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