The International Criminal Court (ICC) has received legal submissions accusing Israel of systematically targeting journalists working in Palestine and failing to properly investigate killings of media workers, which amount to war crimes.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) working with leading human rights lawyers from Bindmans LLP and Doughty Street Chambers submitted the formal complaint to the ICC in early April 2022. The ICC Prosecutor's Office formally acknowledged receipt of the complaint on 25 April.
The organisations said in a joint statement that Israel continues to act as if it is above accountability and continues to target journalists and media workers. In May last year, for example, it bombed media facilities in the Gaza Strip, killing at least two journalists. It injured 100 other journalists in separate incidents.
The complaint details the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists on behalf of four named victims: Ahmed Abu Hussein, Yaser Murtaja, Muath Amarneh and Nedal Eshtayeh, who were killed or maimed by Israeli snipers while covering demonstrations in Gaza. All were wearing clearly marked PRESS vests at the time that they were shot.
The complaint also details the targeting of media and the bombing of the AlShorouk and AlJawhara Towers in Gaza City in May 2021. The media outlets hit included Alam News, Al-Hayat Newspapers, Mayadeen Media and Al-Bawaba 24.
Examples of discrimination, violations of freedom of movement and restrictions on press accreditation suffered by Palestinian journalists are also covered by the submissions to the ICC.