Al Jazeera to Refer Killing of Cameraman in Gaza to War Crimes Court


CAIRO: Al Jazeera is preparing a legal file to send to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over what it called “the assassination” of one of its cameramen in Gaza, the Qatari-based network said on Saturday.

The cameraman, Samer Abu Daqqa, was killed by a drone strike on Friday while reporting on the bombing of a school used as a shelter for displaced people in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the Qatar-based broadcaster.

Al Jazeera said Israeli drones fired missiles at the school that left Abu Daqqa with fatal injuries. Reuters could not verify the details of the incident.

“The Network established a joint working group, which comprises of its international legal team and international legal experts who will collaboratively initiate the process of compiling a comprehensive file for submission to the court’s prosecutor,” Al Jazeera said in a statement.

“The legal file will also encompass recurrent attacks on the Network’s crews working and operating in the occupied Palestinian territories and instances of incitement against them.”

Commenting on the incident, the Israeli army said in a statement it has “never and will never” deliberately target journalists. It also said that remaining in an active combat zone during exchanges of fire “has inherent risks.”

The ICC already has an ongoing investigation into any alleged crimes within its jurisdiction committed on Palestinian territory and by Palestinians on the territory of Israel.

In 2021, ICC judges ruled that the court has jurisdiction after the Palestinian authorities signed up to the court in 2015 and were granted United Nations observer state status.

Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC over the Palestinian territories and has previously refused to cooperate with the court.

The ICC office of the prosecutor does not typically comment on the details of ongoing investigations.

The 10 weeks of war in Gaza have taken a heavy toll on journalists, with at least 64 reporters and media workers killed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Friday.

The CPJ called on international authorities to “conduct an independent investigation into the attack to hold the perpetrators to account.”

An Israeli tank crew killed Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah and wounded six reporters in Lebanon on October 13 by firing two shells in quick succession from Israel while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling, a Reuters investigation found.

The Israeli military said the incident took place in an active combat zone and was under review.__VOA News