Al Jazeera seeks to bring the case of the cameraman’s death in Gaza before an international court, alleging potential war crimes.

Samer Abu Daqqa, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, died from injuries sustained in an Israeli drone strike while reporting on the previous bombing of a school. The Qatari-based network has stated that it is preparing a legal file to be sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding what they referred to as “the assassination” of Abu Daqqa. According to Al Jazeera, Abu Daqqa was killed by a drone strike while reporting on the bombing of a school being used as a shelter for displaced people in Gaza. The network claims that Israeli drones fired missiles at the school, resulting in Abu Daqqa’s fatal injuries. The details of the incident have not been independently verified. Al Jazeera announced that it has established a joint working group, comprised of its international legal team and international legal experts, to compile a comprehensive file for submission to the court’s prosecutor. This file will address not only the death of Abu Daqqa but also the recurring attacks on Al Jazeera’s crews in the occupied Palestinian territories and instances of incitement against them. The Israeli army released a statement asserting that it does not purposely target journalists and that remaining in an active combat zone during exchanges of fire carries inherent risks. Abu Daqqa and correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh had visited Farhana school in Khan Younis after it was struck earlier in the day. While they were present, an Israeli drone launched a second strike on the school, injuring al-Dahdouh and causing Abu Daqqa’s death. Al-Dahdouh managed to reach Nasser hospital and received treatment for minor injuries. Al Jazeera reported that the crew was accompanying civil defense rescuers at the time. Delays in coordinating a safe passage for rescuers resulted in Abu Daqqa’s injuries worsening, and he ultimately passed away. Abu Daqqa had been with Al Jazeera since June 2004, serving as both a cameraman and editor. He is survived by his daughter and three sons. The ICC is already investigating alleged crimes committed on Palestinian territory, as well as by Palestinians on the territory of Israel. In 2021, ICC judges determined that the court holds jurisdiction after the Palestinian authorities joined in 2015 and received United Nations observer state status. Israel does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction over Palestinian territories and has previously refused to cooperate with the court. The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor typically refrains from commenting on the specifics of ongoing investigations. The recent conflict in Gaza has had a devastating impact on journalists, with at least 64 reporters and media workers killed, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The CPJ has called on international authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the attack that killed Abu Daqqa and to hold those responsible accountable. In a separate incident, the father, mother, and 20 other family members of another Al Jazeera correspondent, Momen al-Sharafi, were killed in a strike earlier this month. A Reuters investigation discovered that an Israeli tank crew also killed Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six other reporters in Lebanon on October 13. The journalists were filming cross-border shelling when two shells were fired from Israel. The Israeli military stated that the incident occurred in an active combat zone and is currently under review.

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