Ramallah – The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) called on the international community and international organisations to hold to account the Israeli occupying authorities for the war crimes perpetrated in occupied Palestine. Most recent of these crimes is the heart breaking murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Jerusalemite journalist and Al-Jazeera reporter. A sniper of the Israeli occupying army shot Abu Akleh in the head while she was reporting and covering a raid by the Israeli occupying forces into Jenin refugee camp.
In a statement, AMAN asserted that the crime of killing Abu Akleh and injuring journalist Ali Sammoudi (in spite of the fact their identity as journalists was obvious by wearing press jackets and putting on press helmets) is part of targeting media representatives, particularly Palestinian journalists, in order to ban covering events and exposing the truth of Israeli violations. Preventing ambulances from accessing Abu Akleh reflects a continued Israeli breach of international laws and customary practice, which ensure protection for journalists’ professional activity and civilians. It further constitutes a grave violation of human rights in an institutionalised context of persecution and domination.
AMAN called on the international community to hold Israel to account, ensue that Israel does not enjoy impunity, and protect journalists. AMAN stressed the need to expeditiously file a complaint and bring a case to the International Criminal Court to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupying forces on a daily basis. The Israeli occupying authorities that order and perpetrate these crimes will be held to account. Impunity for the heinous crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces in Palestine, combined with and failure to prosecute and expose them in all international forums, create an enabling environment to proceed with these crimes.
AMAN emphasised the need that the international community, United Nations agencies, international press federations, and in particular High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, fulfil their legal and moral obligations for providing protection to Palestinian civilians across the occupied Palestinian territory. Protection will be specifically provided to journalists who discharge their professional duties at the height of danger. Expedited and effective action will be taken to bring to an end arbitrary Israeli practices and ensure that the occupying Power uphold the principles of International Humanitarian Law, which are binding on Israel under all circumstances. The pillars of the Israeli colonial regime, including occupying authorities, security and military establishments, settlement activity and apartheid, will be included on the United Nations list of parties that violate the rights of journalists during armed conflict.
May Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh rest in peace and wishes of a speedy recovery for journalist Ali Sammoudi.