Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has reiterated his call for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the murder of American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Teachta Brady’s call comes following the release of the findings of an investigation conducted by Palestinian authorities into the illegal killing of the veteran journalist.
The Palestinian Authority investigation found that Abu Akleh was shot by an Israeli soldier earlier this month, despite wearing a blue vest and helmet which clearly identified her as a journalist.
The Wicklow TD said:
“The findings of the investigation conducted by the Palestinian authority have clearly shown, what we all have believed to be true from the beginning, that Shireen Abu Akleh was executed in cold blood by an Israeli soldier. The investigation also categorically discounted Israeli claims that there were Palestinian militants involved in the incident.
“The Palestinian attorney general Akram Al-Khatib has stated that there were no militants close to where Abu Akleh was shot. This has been previously proven by a Palestinian NGO, which conducted a pain-staking investigation and walk-through of events that occurred that day.
“The reality is that Abu Akleh, who was a veteran and clearly identifiable journalist, was wearing a blue press vest and blue helmet, was attempting to flee from the area as they came under fire from Israeli forces.
“The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh is clearly a war crime and needs to be investigated as such. We had a debate in the Dáil earlier this week, where we heard strong words, and witnessed much hand-wringing from the Minister for Foreign Affairs. But now we need to see action.
“The Irish government needs to lead the way in calling for an investigation to be conducted by the International Criminal Court into the murder of Abu Akleh.
“Dozens of journalists are losing their lives in conflict zones around the world every year. And we rightly condemn their murders. There have been two dozen journalists killed in Ukraine so far since the Russian invasion.
“But condemnation of their killings, the international outrage, all ring hollow, if the murder of Abu Akleh is not afforded the same degree of import by the international community.
“The murder was a war crime, and it needs to be investigated as such.
“The Irish government must use its position on the UN Security Council and in the EU to push for an independent inquiry.
“The failure of the international community to afford the same rights to Palestinians as it does to the victims of other conflicts is an indictment of the years of silence from global leaders as Israel has assumed carte blanche, to commit human rights abuse after human rights abuse on the Palestinian people.
“This cannot be allowed to continue.”