Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants ICC to 'chase down the criminals' who killed Shireen Abu Akleh
The Palestinian Authority is referring the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to the International Criminal Court (ICC), President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.
Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces while reporting on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday.
"We refused and we refuse a joint investigation with the Israeli authorities," Abbas said during a state funeral ceremony for Abu Akleh in Ramallah. "We will immediately go to the International Criminal Court to chase down the criminals."
Hours after Abu Akleh was killed, the Palestinian public prosecution said it would refer Abu Akleh's killing to the ICC.
Israeli officials said on Wednesday that it was "likely" that Abu Akleh had been killed by Palestinian fire, despite witnesses and independent investigations by journalists and NGOs debunking this.
They have since backtracked, saying it cannot yet be determined whose gunfire killed Abu Akleh.
Israel had asked for the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet removed from Abu Akleh's body to conduct a forensic examination. It offered that Palestinian and US officials could be present during the process, Israeli media reports citing officials said.
But the Palestinian Authority said it is conducting its own investigation into Abu Akleh's death and is highly suspicious about Israel's motives after a series of 'false narratives' about the killing.
It said it would provide Qatar and the US with the results of the investigation.
Abu Akleh is to be buried in her hometown of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon.