ICC complaint prepared over Israel’s killing of journalists
Palestinian and international rights groups are preparing to lodge an International Criminal Court (ICC) complaint against Israel over its “systematic targeting” of Palestinian journalists in Gaza, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) announced on Wednesday.
The complaint will be submitted by the ICJP, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (JPS) with backing from London-based human rights lawyers, and will focus on Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
“The targeting of journalists and media organisations in Palestine violates the right to life and freedom of expression,” said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger in a statement published on Wednesday.
“These crimes must be fully investigated. This systematic targeting must stop. The journalists and their families deserve justice and the IFJ working with the PJS, ICJP, Bindmans and Doughty Street Chambers is determined to ensure those responsible for crimes against journalists are held accountable.”
The filing mentions the Israeli sniper shootings of Palestinian journalists Ahmed Abu Hussein, Yaser Murtaja, Muath Armaneh and Nedal Eshtayet, who were killed or maimed while covering protests. All four reporters were wearing clearly marked ‘PRESS’ vests when they were targeted, according to the ICJP.
The complaint also mentions Israel’s bombing of Gaza City’s Al-Shorouk and Al-Jawhara towers, which housed multiple media outlets.
The ICJP and its partners say that there are strong grounds to conclude that Israel committed war crimes in its targeting of journalists and subsequent failure to investigate the killings.
Israel's 11-day bombing of Gaza in May resulted in the deaths of at least 250 Palestinians, including 66 children. During the campaign, Israeli forces also arrested journalists and targeted buildings housing local and international media outlets, including The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
Israeli forces have killed at least 46 journalists since 2000, according to the ICJP.