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Israeli shooting of Al Jazeera journalist needs to be investigated as a War Crime – John Brady TD

11 May, 2022 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has condemned the murder by the Israeli military of the veteran Shireen Abu Akleh during a raid by Israeli forces into the Jenin refugee camp.

Ms Abu Akleh was shot execution style with a single bullet to the face, which Al Jazeera claims was fired by an Israeli sniper. Another journalist was shot in the back by Israeli forces but remains in a stable condition. Both journalists were wearing clearly visible blue flak jackets that identified them as journalists. While Israeli forces claim that they came under attack, other journalists who were present have state unequivocally that Israeli forces were shooting to kill.

Teachta Brady said:

“The Palestinian Authority have described the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh as an execution, and it is difficult to argue with that conclusion. Four journalists in the one car, each clearly wearing blue flak jackets and helmets, which would have identified them as journalists were fired upon by Israeli forces without the slightest provocation.

"It is clear that this attack is part of ongoing attempts by the Israelis to obscure the truth and reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. This is a war crime, and it should be investigated as such.

"This attack can be placed alongside other attacks on journalists, and on the designation last year of five Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organisations by the Israelis, despite offering no evidence that this was the case. There is a clear pattern of attempts by the Israelis to silence and discredit individuals and organisations who have been reporting, cataloguing, and letting the world know about the reality of the Israeli oppression and discrimination against the Palestinian people.”

“I believe that there is a role here for the Irish government to use its position on the UN Security Council, and in the EU to call for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh to be investigated by the International Criminal Court as a potential war crime. Minister Simon Coveney needs to move beyond offering empty rhetoric, he needs to act. Israel have murdered a journalist in cold blood. This cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet of international indifference. There needs to be accountability.”

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