RSF files second complaint with ICC for war crimes against journalists in Gaza since 7 October
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a war crimes complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the deaths of seven Palestinian journalists killed in the Gaza Strip between 22 October and 15 December. RSF has urged the ICC prosecutor to investigate all of the deaths of Palestinian journalists killed by the Israeli military since 7 October, currently totalling 66.
In response to the continuing tragedy in Gaza, RSF filed its latest complaint with the ICC today (22 December) – this one concerning probable war crimes by the Israel Defence Forces in the deaths of seven Palestinian reporters during the eight weeks ending 15 December.
RSF has reasonable grounds to believe that the journalists named in this complaint were the victims of attacks amounting to war crimes. According to the information collected by RSF, these journalists may have been deliberately targeted as journalists. It is for this reason that RSF is describing these deaths as intentional homicides of civilians.
The journalists named in the complaint are Asem Al-Barsh, an Al Najah radio journalist killed by sniper fire; Bilal Jadallah of the Palestinian Press House, the victim of a direct missile attack on his car as he left his workplace; Montaser Al-Sawaf, whose home was targeted twice by missile fire; Rushdi Al Siraj, the victim of a direct shot on his home; Hassouna Salim of the Quds News agency, killed by a missile after receiving death threats; Sari Mansour, a photo-journalist for Quds News, who died in the same attack; and Samer Abu Daqqa, an Al Jazeera correspondent who appears to have been killed by a precision shot fired from a drone that also wounded Al Jazeera bureau chief Wael Dahdouh.
RSF’s first war crimes complaint since 7 October was filed with the ICC on 31 October and concerned the deaths of seven other journalists. In both complaints, RSF urges the ICC prosecutor to investigate all of the deaths of Palestinian journalists killed since the start of the war, which currently total 66, according to RSF’s information.
“In view of the massacre of journalists in Gaza and the targeting to which they seem to be subjected, we call on ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to clearly state that he is making it a priority to elucidate the crimes committed against journalists in Gaza and to prosecute those responsible.
This is RSF’s fourth complaint to the ICC prosecutor about war crimes against journalists in Palestine since 2018. The first was filed in May 2018 about journalists killed or injured during the “Great March of Return” protests in Gaza. The second was filed in May 2021 following Israeli air strikes on more than 20 media outlets in the Gaza Strip. And the third was the one filed on 31 October.
RSF also supported the complaint filed by Al Jazeera about the fatal shooting of Palestinian journalist Shirin Abu Akleh in the West Bank on 11 May 2022.