Blinken Says US ‘Will Follow Facts’ About Shireen Abu Akleh’s Murder | media news

The top US diplomat said the facts related to the murder of the Al Jazeera journalist have not yet been “established” despite several investigations.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has vowed to answer for the murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh wherever the facts lead amid a heated dispute between Israeli and Palestinian authorities over how she died .

The well-known veteran journalist, a Palestinian American, was murdered on May 11 while reporting an Israeli army attack on the Jenin camp in the north of the occupied West Bank.

When he appeared on a forum for student journalists on the sidelines of a Latin American summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Blinken was confronted by Abby Martin, the host of the independent documentary and interview series The Empire Files. Martin asked why there have been “absolutely no repercussions” for Israel, a historic ally of the United States.

“I’m sorry, with all due respect, they haven’t been established yet,” Blinken said of the facts behind the case.

“We are looking for an independent, credible investigation. When that investigation takes place, we will follow the facts, wherever they lead. It’s that simple,” he said.

Blinken, who spoke to Abu Akleh’s family, said: “I regret the loss of Shireen. She was a remarkable journalist, an American citizen.”

Dozens of Blinken Democratic Party lawmakers have called on the FBI to conduct an investigation into an unbiased determination of her death. However, the US State Department has said it would trust Israel to conduct an investigation.

On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney called on President Joe Biden’s administration to press for “a full and transparent investigation” into the Abu Akleh assassination, a rare move by a Republican Party politician.

Romney, the senator from Utah, sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, urging the State Department to answer to Abu Akleh’s murder, which sparked worldwide outrage and condemnation. .

Palestinian journalists and colleagues — including Al Jazeera cameraman Majdi Bannoura — who were with Abu Akleh when she died said she was killed by an Israeli sniper. A Palestinian probe said an Israeli soldier shot her dead in what it described as a war crime. A CNN report, citing witnesses, also said she appeared to have been killed in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.

Israel has changed its story several times, ranging from denying the allegations to attributing the murder to stray fire of Palestinian armed fighters to admitting that an Israeli soldier accidentally shot Abu Akleh.

The Israeli authorities have asked the Palestinian Authority to participate in a joint investigation and then announced that they will not investigate their own soldiers.

Israeli police attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession in occupied East Jerusalem and beat corpse-carriers carrying her coffin with batons in scenes that provoked further anger and call for accountability.

Al Jazeera Media Network has appointed a legal team to present the murder to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

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