Palestinians reject IDF probe into Shireen Abu Akleh killing, vow to bring case to ICC

The IDF report on the killing of Abu Akleh is “a new Israeli attempt to evade responsibility for her murder,” the Palestinian Authority said.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves to people as he bids farewell to Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during a live fire exchange in Jenin, in Ramallah in the West Bank May 12, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves to people as he bids farewell to Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during a live fire exchange in Jenin, in Ramallah in the West Bank May 12, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The Palestinian Authority on Monday rejected the results of the IDF investigation into the murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and vowed to bring her case before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The IDF report on the killing of Abu Akleh is “a new Israeli attempt to evade responsibility for her murder,” the PA said.

The PA was responding to the IDF investigation that found there was a high possibility that Abu Akleh was killed by an IDF soldier during a gunfight in Jenin back in May.

“All the evidence, facts and investigations that were conducted prove that Israel killed Shireen, and it must bear responsibility for its crime,” PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said.

The Palestinian leadership, Abu Rudaineh said, will continue to follow up the case of Abu Akleh with all relevant international bodies, especially the ICC.

“Israel will not be allowed to escape punishment for its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian holy sites,” he added.

"Israel will not be allowed to escape punishment for its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian holy sites"

PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh
 Shireen Abu Akleh (credit: AL JAZEERA) Shireen Abu Akleh (credit: AL JAZEERA)

Ahmed al-Deek, a senior official with the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the IDF report did not say anything new. “This is a political statement that is not based on serious legal investigations,” al-Deek said.

He accused Israel of seeking to “obliterate the crime without categorically admitting the responsibility of the Israeli soldiers for the execution of Shireen Abu Akleh.”

Al-Deek also said the PA would follow up the case with the ICC and other international forums in order to bring the soldier who shot the journalist and those behind him to trial.

“Since Israel is incapable of holding themselves accountable, we are also pressing for a full International Criminal Court investigation and trial."

Abu Akleh family members

He also criticized the ruling of the military advocate-general that there was no suspicion of a criminal offense that would justify the opening of a Military Police investigation.

“This will encourage soldiers to perpetrate more crimes,” al-Deek argued. “We have no confidence in any investigations carried out by the occupation army.”

Hamas rejects IDF reports on the "assassination of Abu Akleh"

Hamas also rejected the findings of the IDF investigation, dubbing it an attempt to evade responsibility for the “assassination” of Abu Akleh.

“The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh by the occupation army is a full-fledged crime for which [Israel] must be held accountable and not allowed to escape punishment,” said Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem.

The slain Palestinian-American journalist’s family expressed deep frustration and disappointment over the IDF’s report.

The family said in a statement that they were not surprised by the IDF findings, “since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes.”

The family also said that since the killing, they have 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.”

“Since Israel is incapable of holding themselves accountable, we are also pressing for a full International Criminal Court investigation and trial,” said the family. “Israel’s killing of our dear Shireen cannot be swept aside. We cannot and will not stop until we have justice for Shireen.”