The Senate letter was led by Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen and Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin.
PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS HOLD POSTERS DURING A PROTEST IN GAZA AGAINST THE KILLING OF AL JAZEERA JOURNALIST SHIREEN ABU AKLEH, SHOT DEAD BY AN ISRAELI SNIPER ON MAY 11 IN THE WEST BANK. PHOTO BY ASHRAF AMRA © APA IMAGES
The pressure continues to mount on the Biden administration to undertake an investigation of Israel’s killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist, last month in occupied territories.
Yesterday, 24 senators (22 Democrats plus two independents) sent a letter to President Biden demanding that the State Department and the FBI conduct “a comprehensive, impartial, and open investigation” of Abu Akleh’s killing on May 11.
“It has now been over a month since American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot to death while reporting on an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin,” the senators begin.
Since then, “there has been no significant progress toward the establishment of an independent, thorough, and transparent investigation into her killing.”
The letter is very strong and shows that nearly half of Senate Democrats are not buying Israel’s story– and they have been endorsed by the liberal Israel lobby.
The “only way” for there to be a “credible” investigation is for the U.S. to undertake it, the senators say. And the case has only grown “more urgent” since “new information” has emerged. The senators cite the many media investigations (including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and AP) finding that an Israeli soldier killed the Al Jazeera broadcaster from about 600 feet away– and that there were no clashes with Palestinian gunmen, as Israel maintained. The senators emphasize that Abu Akleh and other reporters wore Press flak jackets and “stood in front” of the Israeli convoy so as to identify themselves to the army that morning.
And they quote a damning statement by Israel’s army spokesperson the day she was killed.
Ran Kochav stated that Ms. Abu Akleh and her film crew “were armed with cameras, if you’ll permit me to say so.”