More than 50 U.S. lawmakers on Friday called on the FBI to investigate the killing of Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Akleh in the West Bank, despite the promise of an Israeli investigation.
The 57-member House, led by Rep. Andre Carson, a mainly left-leaning Democrat, noted that Abu Aqleh was a U.S. citizen and pointed to various accounts of how he died on May 11.
“In light of the deteriorating situation in the region and the conflicting reports surrounding Mrs. Abu Akleh’s death, we request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death,” they wrote in a letter.
“As an American, Mrs. Abu Akleh was entitled to full protection of U.S. citizens living abroad,” they wrote to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wake.
Al Jazeera and Palestinians say Israeli forces killed a prominent journalist, Abu Akleh, while he was covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.
Israel says he was shot dead by Palestinians or stray by Israeli troops.
Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Herzog, said he was “disappointed” to see the letter and that Israel had called for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority to include the role of a US observer.
“Our call was explicitly rejected by the PA, which is using the death of Miss Abu Akleh to run an anti-Israel propaganda campaign,” he said.
He instead called on Congress to press the Palestinian side to investigate, saying Israeli troops would “never intentionally target members of the press.”
The State Department said it believed Israel could conduct a credible investigation but also criticized the use of force by Israeli police during the funeral of Blinken Abu Akleh.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)