LONDON: The US State Department’s handling of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked widespread outrage on social media.
After summarizing investigations by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the US State Department concluded on Monday that bullets from the Israeli position were “responsible for the death of Shirin Abu Akleh,” but that the incident was unintentionally “the result of tragic circumstances.” as rejected.
Multiple investigations by eyewitnesses and US media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times have previously concluded that Abu Akleh was fatally shot by Israeli forces.
Investigations and video evidence also confirm that there were no armed Palestinians in the area where Abu Akleh was killed, and that he and other journalists were wearing visible press gear.
Still, the US statement insisted that the Israeli raid was aimed at extremist fighters, in response to previous attacks by Palestinian bombers.
The Palestinian Authority has dismissed the “dismissal of the Israeli occupation forces of America” to deliberately target and kill Shirin Abu Akleh as “tragic circumstances” rather than a deliberate war crime.
“We are unbelievable,” Abu Akleh’s family said in a statement published on social media.
His family said, “To say this is a disappointment with the investigation, lack of transparency, undefined goals and support for Israel’s overall position, would be an understatement.”
Palestinian rights advocates have also taken to social media to express their outrage at the US declaration.
“This is a shameful day for America, which has failed to properly investigate the murder of its own civilian by the military, sending $3.8 billion every year,” the Jewish Voice for Peace tweeted.
Israeli human rights organization B’Salem said: “As far as Israel is concerned, its policy regarding the killing of Palestinians has never been anything other than an organized whitewash, aimed at continuing the killings.” enablement, and this is no different when it comes to a US citizen, as in the present case.”
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hassan tweeted: “Where’s the outrage with the Biden administration? Where’s the urgency to find out how a US citizen was shot and killed? And how long will America keep giving Israel everything, apparently? ?”
Abu Akleh’s family has said that regardless of the findings of the investigation, they will continue to fight for justice and accountability for his death.
“It is very disappointing but at the same time, it is not discouraging. We will continue to fight for justice. We will continue to fight for accountability and this impunity because it is the result we have got today, that impunity Provides what Israel has received,” the family said.
“But we will not be disappointed and we will continue on our path to justice and accountability,” the family said.
Al Jazeera has already referred the case to the International Criminal Court, and vowed to seek justice by all international legal means.
Abu Akleh’s family, the International Federation of Journalists, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the International Center of Justice for Palestinians have directed the legal team to file a new complaint with the ICC.
The complaint requested that ICC prosecutors investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Abu Akleh and the shooting of Samodi.
Israel claims that it is not bound by the court’s mandate because it did not sign the Rome Statute, and that the ICC cannot investigate abuses in the Palestinian territories because Palestine is not a state.
However, the ICC ruled on February 5, 2021 that its criminal jurisdiction had been extended to the “status of Palestine”, and that its territorial scope includes charges leveled in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to lawyers.
The legal team says the new complaint was submitted to court in April requesting that the ICC prosecutor deal with the systematic targeting, maiming and killing of journalists as well as the destruction of media infrastructure in Palestine. Start the investigation.
Abu Akleh was murdered just days after the ICC prosecutor received the first complaint.
“This presents a real opportunity for the accountability of Israel’s alleged policy of targeting journalists for the first time and could lead to a formal investigation by an ICC prosecutor and potential prosecution,” the lawyers’ statement said.
More than 100 celebrities and artists have signed a statement demanding accountability for the murder carried out by Israel in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Akleh.
Actors Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton, Susan Sarandon, Steve Coogan, and Miriam Margolis, as well as filmmakers Asif Kapadia, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, and former footballer Eric Cantona, were among those who expressed that they were “deeply touched” by his death. troubled”. ,
As a result, ICC investigations established internationally are expected to attract global attention.