Funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh
Funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu AqlehYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Al Jazeera Media Network announced on Thursday that it had assigned a legal team to refer the killing of its journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

In a statement, the network said it has formed an international coalition that consists of its legal team along with international experts, and is preparing a dossier on what it described as “the murder” of Abu Aqleh for submission to the ICC prosecutor.

Al Jazeera said its ICC submission will also include the Israeli bombing “and total destruction” of Al Jazeera’s office in Gaza in May 2021, and what it described as “the continuous incitements and attacks” on Al Jazeera journalists working in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The network statement said the killing or physical assault on journalists working in war zones or occupied territories is a war crime under Article 8 of the International Criminal Court’s charter.

Al Jazeera Media Network condemns the killing of our colleague Shireen Abu Aqleh, who worked with the Network for 25 years as a professional journalist covering the ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the network said in a statement.

“The Network vows to follow every path to achieve justice for Shireen, and ensure those responsible for her killing are brought to justice and held accountable in all international justice and legal platforms and courts,” it added.

Abu Aqleh was killed during clashes between IDF soldiers and Palestinian Arab terrorist in Jenin earlier this month.

Earlier on Thursday, Palestinian Authority chief prosecutor Akram Khatib released the findings of the PA's investigation into the death of Abu Aqleh, and claimed that she was shot by IDF forces.

"The IDF has a clear and direct view of the location of the journalists in Jenin, at the moment of the shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh," Khatib said.

Khatib stated that Abu Aqleh and the other journalists with her were wearing gear which clearly marked them as members of the press, and that she was shot as she was attempting to flee IDF gunfire.

The PA report came two days after CNN published a report in which it similarly claimed that Israel was responsible for Abu Aqleh’s death.

Israel has maintained that it is possible that an IDF soldier accidentally shot Abu Aqleh but it is also possible that she was shot by terrorists who were engaged in a firefight with IDF troops at the time and were firing wildly.

Israel has stated that without access to the bullet which killed her it is impossible to know which side fired the shot. The PA has refused Israel’s request to launch a joint probe to investigate the incident.