Fifty-seven U.S. lawmakers recently called on the FBI and State Department to investigate the May 11 shooting death of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh which has now become a contentious issue.
Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead in Jenin in northern Samaria while covering an Israel Defense Forces counter-terrorism raid in the city for Al Jazeera. The Palestinian Authority has rejected requests from Israel to hold a joint investigation and is refusing to turn over the bullet extracted from Akleh’s body for ballistic and forensic analysis- standing firm on the unproved fact that Israel has committed the murder.
Seeking a fair and unbiased investigation, the lawmakers wrote a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wray, and requested that the State Department “determine whether any U.S. laws protecting Ms. Abu Akleh, an American citizen, were violated.”
The letter reads, “As Members of Congress, we are deeply concerned by the death of Ms. Abu Akleh. Journalists worldwide must be protected at all costs. We welcome the actions and statements taken so far by the U.S. Department of State supporting a thorough investigation. However, given the tenuous situation in the region and the conflicting reports surrounding the death of Ms. Abu Akleh, we request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death.”