Not satisfied with the hasty and brief US investigation into the Israeli murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, four US senators wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding a more thorough and precise investigation.
“While we were glad to see the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) involved in an independent forensic analysis of the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh, that hardly constitutes an independent investigation into the overall circumstances of her killing,’ wrote the four Democratic Party Senators Chris Van Hollen, Patrick Leahy, Chris Murphy, and Dick Durbin.
They said that the USSC report presented by State Department spokesman Ned Price on July 5 “does not meet any plausible definition of the ‘independent’ investigation that you and members of Congress have called for. Nor does it provide the transparency that this case demands.”
Therefore, they added, “we write to seek further information regarding how the Administration plans to ensure that an independent, thorough, and transparent investigation is conducted into the shooting death of this American citizen and journalist,” posing 13 questions and demanding answers to them.
Abu Akleh, a US citizen and Al-Jazeera reporter, was covering an Israeli army assault on Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank on May 11 when she was shot and killed by an Israeli army sniper.
The Palestinian Authority and several other independent organizations, human rights groups and major media outlets had carried out their own investigations into the murder of Abu Akleh and all agreed that she was killed by the Israeli army, some saying the shooting was intentional.
The USSC’s report hinted that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh likely came from Israeli soldiers but said it could not confirm that.
Twenty-four senators and 57 members of the House of Representatives have earlier called for an independent investigation under US auspices in order to ensure that all parties have confidence in the findings and provide transparency and accountability for the killing of Abu Akleh.
Tags Congress Israel Jenin Palestine Shireen Abu Akleh US West Bank