Al Jazeera has submitted a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot in the head while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank in May.

“Al Jazeera’s legal team has conducted a full and detailed investigation into the case and unearthed new evidence based on several eyewitness accounts, the examination of multiple items of video footage, and forensic evidence pertaining to the case,” Al Jazeera said in a statement Tuesday.

The network claims new evidence and video show the Palestinian-American journalist and her colleagues were directly fired at in a “deliberate killing” by what Al Jazeera called Israeli occupation forces, a claim which Israel has repeatedly denied.

Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid Tuesday repeated a long-standing rejection that any outside authority would investigate Israel Defense Forces troops.

“No one will investigate IDF soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al Jazeera,” Lapid said.

The IDF referred CNN questions about the ICC case to the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which declined to comment.

The ICC confirmed Tuesday that it had received a submission from Al Jazeera.

“Under article 15 of the Rome Statute any individual or group may send information (communications) on alleged crimes to the ICC Prosecutor, who is duty bound to protect the confidentiality of the information received,” the prosecutor’s office told CNN via email.

In September, the IDF ​admitted there is a “high possibility” Abu Akleh was “accidentally” shot and killed by Israeli fire aimed at “suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen during an exchange of fire.”

The IDF said at the time the Israeli military did not intend to pursue criminal charges or prosecutions of any of the soldiers involved.

A CNN investigation published two weeks after Abu Akleh was killed suggested that the fatal shot came from a position where IDF troops are known to have been positioned. The pattern of gunfire on a tree behind where she was standing at the time suggested that the gunfire was targeted rather than indiscriminate, an expert told CNN.

The CNN investigation unearthed evidence — including two videos of the scene of the shooting — suggesting that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death.

She was wearing a flak jacket identifying her as press at the time she was killed.

Al Jazeera said Tuesday: “The claim by the Israeli authorities that Shireen was killed by mistake in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded. The evidence presented to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) confirms, without any doubt, that there was no firing in the area where Shireen was, other than the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) shooting directly at her.”

“The IOF inquiry that found there was no suspicion of any crime being committed is entirely undermined by the available evidence which has now been provided to the OTP. The evidence shows that this deliberate killing was part of a wider campaign to target and silence Al Jazeera,” the network added.

Abu Akleh’s family also submitted an official complaint to the ICC earlier this year to demand justice for her death, Al Jazeera reported.

“[I]t appears that it is not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire which hit and killed Ms. Abu Akleh. However, there is a high possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by IDF gunfire fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen during an exchange of fire,” the IDF said in a statement.

But the Israeli military does not intend to pursue criminal charges or prosecutions of any of the soldiers involved, IDF’s Military Advocate General’s Office said Monday in a separate statement.

“After a comprehensive examination of the incident, and based on all the findings presented, the Military Advocate General determined that under the circumstances of the incident, despite the dire result — the death of Ms. Abu Akleh and Mr. Samudi’s injury — there was no suspicion of a criminal offense that warrants the opening of an MPCID investigation,” the statement said.

“The decision was based on the findings of the review, which determined that IDF soldiers only aimed fire at those who were identified as armed terrorists during the incident. As such, there was no suspicion that a bullet was fired deliberately at anyone identified as a civilian and in particular at anyone identified as a journalist,” the statement said.

A senior IDF official who briefed journalists on the findings ​of the military’s investigation before they were released said the IDF troops did not know they were shooting at the press​, and said that Abu Akleh’s back “probably” being turned to the soldiers was a contributing factor. In images from the scene of the shooting, Abu Akleh is wearing a protective vest that is labeled “PRESS” on both the front and back.

“When they were firing in that direction, the soldiers were not aware they were firing at journalists. They thought they were firing at militants firing at them,” the IDF official said.

'They were shooting directly at the journalists': New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces
A CNN investigation in May unearthed evidence — including two videos of the scene of the shooting — that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death. Footage obtained by CNN, corroborated by testimony from eight eyewitnesses, an audio forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert, suggested that Israeli forces intentionally took aim at Abu Akleh.

Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh’s employer, has consistently asserted that the Israeli military is responsible for her death.

When asked about investigations, including CNN’s, that found no militants near Abu Akleh when she was killed, the official said: “It is our estimate that there were militants in the vicinity of Ms. Abu Abkleh. Maybe not one meter beside her but they were in that area​,” but the official did not provide evidence to support that claim.​

“When the soldier made that decision, it was a blink of a decision,” the official said. “The soldier did not intend to injure an Al Jazeera journalist or [journalist] from any other network.”

“The soldier is sorry, and I am sorry. This was not supposed to happen and it should not happen. He did not do this on purpose,” the official said. ​He did not name the soldier.

When she was killed, Abu Akleh was accompanied by a group of other journalists, including her producer ​Ali al-Samoudi, who was wounded in the incident.

In Monday’s briefing with reporters, the senior IDF official said the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was too badly damaged to be able to identify which gun fired it, the same conclusion a US-led forensic investigation came to.

However, the IDF has concluded that the soldier who likely fired the fatal shot was to the south of Abu Akleh in an armored military vehicle with limited range of sight, did not identify Abu Akleh as a journalist and thought he was shooting at militants.

The official said soldiers in the area had been under fire “for an hour and fifteen minutes” before Abu Akleh was killed.

Asked why the gunfire appeared to continue even after Abu Akleh fell, the official said they counted no more than seven bullets fired after she was shot. There were Israeli drones filming during the operation, the official said, but not in a high enough resolution to be able to see the fatal shot.

In the initial aftermath of Abu Akleh’s death, Israeli officials first posited that it was likely indiscriminate Palestinian militant gunfire that killed her, before acknowledging it was possible Israeli gunfire was responsible for her death.

In their report on Monday, the IDF left open the possibility that Abu Akleh “was hit by bullets fired by armed Palestinian gunmen toward the direction of the area in which she was present.”

According to the Palestinian autopsy, Abu Akleh was killed by a single bullet to the back of the head.

US says Israeli military gunfire ​'likely responsible​' for Shireen Abu Akleh's death but examination of bullet inconclusive

Shireen Abu Akleh’s family slammed the IDF investigation, saying Israel had “refused to take responsibility for murdering Shireen,” and called for an independent US investigation.

The report “tried to obscure the truth and avoid responsibility for killing Shireen Abu Akleh, our aunt, sister, best friend, journalist, and a Palestinian American,” the family said in a statement sent to CNN.

“We’ve known for over 4 months now that an Israeli soldier shot and killed Shireen as countless investigations conducted by CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Al Jazeera, Al-Haq, B’tselem, the United Nations, and others have all concluded,” the statement said.

“And yet, as expected, Israel has refused to take responsibility for murdering Shireen. Our family is not surprised by this outcome since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes. However, we remain deeply hurt, frustrated, and disappointed.”

“Since Shireen was killed our family has called for a thorough, independent, and credible US investigation that leads to accountability, which is the bare minimum the US government should do for one of their own citizens. We will continue to demand that the US government follow through with its stated commitments to accountability. Accountability requires action.

In July the United States found that gunfire from the Israeli military was “likely responsible” for the killing of Abu Akleh, although an examination overseen by the US of the bullet “could not reach a definitive conclusion” on its origin due to the condition of the bullet.

The US Security Coordinator — who leads an inter-agency team that coordinates with the Israeli government and the PA — “found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel,” according to a statement at the time from the State Department.

The IDF has been carrying out regular raids in the West Bank, especially in the Jenin area, targeting what it says are militants and weapons caches. The raid in Jenin when Abu Akleh was killed came shortly after a months-long wave of attacks by Palestinians that left 19 Israelis and foreigners dead. Some of the suspected assailants of those attacks were from Jenin, according to the Israeli military.

The image of Shireen Abu Akleh’s lifeless body lying face down on the ground has not left cameraman Majdi Bannoura’s mind.

Bannoura was only a few metres away when Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in Jenin a month ago, on May 11. As her cameraman, and as difficult as it was, he knew that he had to film what he was witnessing.

A month later, Bannoura, who works for Al Jazeera and had a 24-year professional and personal relationship with Abu Akleh, is still in a state of shock.

“We still cannot believe that she’s gone, that we haven’t seen her for a month. We walk into the office hoping to hear her voice,” he said.

The killing of the 51-year-old veteran Palestinian correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic television has sent shockwaves throughout the world.

Abu Akleh, who also held American citizenship, was shot in the head while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern occupied West Bank, despite wearing a clearly marked press vest and helmet.

Al Jazeera described Abu Akleh’s death as “blatant murder” and said she was “assassinated in cold blood”. The network has assigned a legal team to refer her killing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

‘Much more than a colleague’

Abu Akleh joined Al Jazeera Arabic at the same time as Bannoura, in August 1997, a year after the network was launched. Back then, Bannoura filmed her first-ever appearance on camera with the channel in Jerusalem.

He also filmed her last, when she was transformed from a reporter into the story itself.

Upon hearing the first bullet, Bannoura began recording. He saw that his colleague, Ali al-Samoudi (who has now recovered), had been shot.

“Ali was injured and I started filming him, I didn’t see Shireen and I wasn’t aware of the size of the tragedy we were in,” he recalled.

“When I turned the camera towards Shireen, I saw her lying on the ground. I wanted to cross the street, but there was live ammunition being fired at us. I realised that the situation was very dangerous – that if I went out, I was going to get shot,” said Bannoura.

“I wasn’t processing what was happening, I made a decision within seconds to keep filming.”

Bannoura kept his eyes on Shireen’s body as he filmed, hoping he would see any sign of life, but to no avail. By the time she was dragged away and taken to a hospital, she was already dead.

Losing her, said Bannoura, has had a difficult and lasting effect on his life.

“Shireen was much more than a colleague, she was a friend to everyone, we had a lifelong relationship beyond just work,” he said between tears.

“She would come over, she knew my children. We spent more time together than we would spend in our own homes. It’s not going to get easier, whether a month or two months, or a year or two years, pass.”

‘An honour’

While Abu Akleh’s killing will continue to make headlines as calls for justice and accountability persist, those who were next to her at the scene are still reliving the trauma and horror of the event.

Local journalist Mujahed al-Saadi was standing next to Abu Akleh when she was shot. He says that he feels time has stopped.

Protest over the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh in New York city.
A protestor holds photo of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 15 in the Bay Ridge neighbourhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City in May [Alex Kent/Getty Images]

“The days have not passed. I wake up at night to the image of Shireen’s last moments, it stays in my mind,” al-Saadi told Al Jazeera.

Despite being in the direct line of fire himself, al-Saadi wishes he could have done more for Abu Akleh.

“I sometimes feel guilty that I, a son of the area, could not protect Shireen. I did not expect her to be martyred – I thought that I would be the one to die as I was in front of her, closer to the soldiers,” al-Saadi said.

“I went crazy because I felt that the bullets were intended for me,” he added.

Abu Akleh often conducted her television live broadcasts from the rooftop of al-Saadi’s home, and he accompanied her in the field on many occasions, particularly in the camp.

The father of two said working with her – after growing up watching her on TV – was an “honour”.

“Many people dreamt of merely getting the chance to speak to her, let alone work with her,” said al-Saadi, noting her coverage of Israel’s 2002 large-scale invasion of the Jenin refugee camp where he used to live.

“What shocked me the most when I started working with her was her modesty, despite how well known she was. She was patriotic. She was loved by the people.”

Abu Akleh’s funeral procession extended over three days, from Jenin to Jerusalem – one of the longest processions in Palestinian history – and included Nablus and Ramallah. That, said al-Saadi, was indicative of the respect for her among regular Palestinians who flooded into the streets to bid her farewell.

For al-Saadi and Bannoura, the chances of justice for Abu Akleh feel slim owing to the reality of rampant Israeli impunity.

“We have never seen any justice – from any international side or court. Even if we are journalists, we are Palestinians at the end of the day,” said Bannoura, adding that any Palestinian is liable to be targeted.

“We hope that Shireen’s case will be the moment that will change things moving forward.”

Journalists, diplomats, religious leaders, and officials including Arab members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, attended the memorial procession at the Palestinian Authority President’s residence, which saw Abu Akleh’s Palestinian-flag-draped coffin carried in as honor guards played musical instruments. Crowds that had gathered on the streets outside the residence were heard chanting “the honest voice never dies” and “we sacrifice our blood and spirit for you, Shireen.”

The memorial was attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who in a speech at the event rejected Israel’s offer for a joint investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing and vowed to take the case to the ICC.

“We rejected, and continue to reject, the joint investigation with the Israeli occupation authorities because they committed the crime and we do not trust them,” said Abbas, standing before Abu Akleh’s coffin. “We will go immediately to the International Criminal Court to track down the killers.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh said the government will share findings of the investigation with the United States, Qatar and the ICC, adding that it will be concluded “soon” and will include an autopsy report.

The Palestinian-American was shot dead on Wednesday while reporting on Israeli military raids in the West Bank city of Jenin. Akleh’s producer, Ali Al-Samudi, was also shot and is in stable condition, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Following the procession, Abu Akleh’s body was brought to St. Joseph hospital in East Jerusalem, where journalists and friends stood outside, crying as they embraced one another. A crowd of supporters gathered outside the hospital, holding roses and chanting “God rest your soul, Shireen.”

Palestinians place flowers at the place where Abu Akleh was killed in Jenin.

As the ambulance carrying Abu Akleh drove in, dozens gathered to help carry her coffin into the hospital, draped in roses and the Palestinian flag.

Mourners also laid flowers at the doorstep of Abu Akleh’s house in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

“Shireen is my daughter, her parents died but we are all her parents,” said 63-year-old Nafisa Khwais, who sat by Abu Akleh’s home, “we are all her family.”

“Silencing her will never stop us from resisting and telling our story,” added Khwais.

Al Jazeera has accused Israeli security forces of deliberately targeting and killing Abu Akleh, 51 — one of the Arab world’s most prominent journalists. Her death was met with regional and international outrage and calls for accountability.

Palestinians take part in a demonstration following Abu Akleh's death.

The circumstances surrounding her death are unclear. Three eyewitnesses told CNN that the journalists were shot by Israeli troops and that there were no Palestinian militants next to the journalists at the time.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid proposed a joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation into the death on Wednesday.

Shireen Abu Akleh, journalist killed in the West Bank, was 'the voice of Palestinian suffering'

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said its forces came under heavy fire during the counterterrorism operation, and that they returned fire.

IDF International Spokesperson Amnon Shefler told CNN late on Wednesday that the Israelis “just don’t know yet” who killed Abu Akhleh, in what appeared to be a softening of previous statements by Israeli officials that said she was “likely” shot by crossfire from Palestinian militants.

Her employer, Al Jazeera, called her death “a blatant murder” by Israeli forces.

Abu Akleh’s funeral will take place on Friday in the Roman Catholic Church in Bab Al-Khalil, before she is buried in Jerusalem’s Mount Zion Cemetery next to her parents.

CNN’s Celine Alkhaldi, Nadeen Ebrahim and Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi contributed to this report.

 Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot and killed during Israeli raid in West Bank

An Al Jazeera journalist has been shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin, her broadcaster said.


Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian female reporter was shot in the head by a live bullet in Jenin. A second journalist, Ali Al Samudi, was also shot and is in a stable condition, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.


 Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot and killed during Israeli raid in West Bank


Al Jazeera has accused Israeli security forces of deliberately targeting and killing Abu Akleh and called on the international community to condemn and hold Israel accountable.


The Israel Defense Forces said its security forces had been operating in the area “to arrest suspects in terrorist activities,” and both Palestinian suspects and Israeli forces were firing at the time.


“As part of the activity in the Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired heavily at the force and threw explosives. The force responded by firing. Hits were detected,” the IDF said.


“The possibility that journalists were hit, possibly by Palestinian gunfire, is being investigated. The event is being examined” the IDF added.


Al Jazeera journalist, Al-Samudi, who was with Abu Akleh when she was killed, said there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area at the time. “The Israeli army shot us,” said Al-Samudi who was also shot. “There was no Palestinian gunman in the place.”


In response to the shooting, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Twitter his government had offered to conduct a joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation, adding: “Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth.”


Health ministry officials said the Al-Quds journalist Ali Samoudi, who is also Palestinian, was hit in the back by a bullet but has been reported to be in a stable condition.


Abu Akleh, 51, was born in Jerusalem. She began working for Al Jazeera in 1997 and regularly reported on-camera from across the Palestinian territories.

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