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Saturday, July 20, 2024

RSF Files Second ICC Complaint on Israel’s War Crimes Against Journalists

RSF files second ICC complaint against Israel's war crimes against Palestinian journalists in Gaza, urging priority investigations for justice and an end to intentional targeting of reporters.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has submitted its second complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel’s war crimes on Palestinian journalists in Gaza. The latest complaint, filed on Friday, calls for an investigation into the deaths of seven journalists in the besieged enclave from October 22 to December 15. This includes the recent killing of Al Jazeera Arabic cameraman Samer Abudaqa.

RSF contends that the journalists mentioned in the complaint may have been intentionally targeted, describing their deaths as “intentional homicides of civilians.” The press freedom group cites “reasonable grounds” to believe that the attacks against these journalists amount to war crimes. This comes as part of RSF’s ongoing efforts, with a previous complaint filed on October 31, covering the deaths of seven other journalists since the Israeli assault began on October 7.

The list of journalists includes Asem Al-Barsh and Bilal Jadallah, killed by sniper fire and a direct missile attack on a car, respectively. Montaser Al-Sawaf and Rushdi Al Siraj lost their lives in Israeli air raids on their homes. Hassouna Salim and Sari Mansour were victims of a missile attack after receiving death threats. The death of Al Jazeera’s Abudaqa, reportedly killed by a precision shot from a drone, underscores the peril faced by journalists covering the conflict.

RSF Urges ICC to Investigate All Deaths of Palestinian Journalists

RSF, based in Paris, urges ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to investigate not only the recent deaths but all 66 Palestinian journalists killed since October 7. The group emphasizes the importance of clarifying the crimes committed against journalists in Gaza and prosecuting those responsible. Targeting journalists is considered a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute.

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In a broader context, RSF has consistently raised concerns about war crimes against journalists in Palestine, filing four complaints to the ICC since 2018. The group calls attention to the repeated tragedies faced by journalists in the region and insists on prioritizing investigations into these crimes.

Support for Al Jazeera’s Complaint and Ongoing Tragedy in Gaza

The RSF supports a complaint filed by Al Jazeera Media Network regarding the fatal shooting of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on May 11, 2022. The ongoing tragedy in Gaza has prompted RSF’s latest complaint, urging the ICC to scrutinize probable war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces. The press freedom organization remains committed to seeking justice for the journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.