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Israel’s Ben-Gvir calls for expelling Al Jazeera journalists after ICC lawsuit

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KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Pakistani Civil Society hold Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh's photos during a protest the killing of Akleh while covering an Israeli raid in West Bank, outside Karachi press club in Karachi, Pakistan on May 15, 2022. (Yousuf Khan - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 07, 2022 - 09:19 AM

JERUSALEM (AA) – Far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir has called for the expulsion of Al Jazeera journalists, accusing the television of spreading “false propaganda” against Israel.

The call came shortly after the Doha-based network filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of its journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

“Al Jazeera is an anti-Semitic and false propaganda network working against Israel in the world,” Ben-Gvir tweeted.

Ben-Gvir, who heads the far-right Jewish Strength Party, is expected to become Israel’s national security minister in the upcoming Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman also called for withdrawing the license of Al Jazeera reporters.

“I expect the [Israeli] government press office to revoke the journalists’ credentials of Al Jazeera reporters who are in Israel,” Lieberman said.

In a statement on Tuesday, Al Jazeera said its lawsuit with the ICC includes “new witness evidence and video footage that clearly show that Abu Akleh and her colleagues were directly fired at by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).”

“The evidence presented to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) confirms, without any doubt, that there was no firing in the area where Shireen was, other than the IOF shooting directly at her,” Al Jazeera said.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, for his part, said he will not allow any interrogation of army soldiers in connection with Abu Akleh’s death.

Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian-American journalist, was killed on May 11, and the Palestinian Health Ministry said she was shot in the head while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

In September, the Israeli army said Abu Akleh was likely killed by “wrong” gunfire from an Israeli soldier.

Several leading media agencies, including Al Jazeera, CNN, Associated Press, Washington Post, and the New York Times, conducted their own investigations, which all came to an end that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli bullet.

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