Nearly half of the Democrats in the US Senate are demanding President Joe Biden to launch an independent investigation into the death of Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh.
On Thursday, the US Senate’s Democratic caucus called for the Biden administration’s “direct involvement” in the investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the northern West Bank last month.
Today, 24 of us are calling upon @POTUS to ensure direct U.S. involvement in the investigation into the shooting death of American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, so that all parties can have confidence in the findings and to ensure accountability. pic.twitter.com/HqwOFm4zg0
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) June 23, 2022
In a letter to Biden, the group wrote, “We believe that, as a leader in the effort to protect the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists, and given the fact that Ms. Abu Akleh was an American citizen, the US government has an obligation to ensure that a comprehensive, impartial, and open investigation into her shooting death is conducted — one in which all parties can have full confidence in the ultimate findings.”
“It is clear that neither of the parties on the ground trusts the other to conduct a credible and independent investigation,” the senators wrote. “Therefore, at this point, we believe the only way to achieve that goal is for the United States to be directly involved in investigating Ms. Abu Akleh’s death.” With the letter, the Senators expressed skepticism regarding the Israeli account of the incident, while highlighting the independent investigations of multiple media outlets that concluded Israeli soldiers were likely responsible for Abu Akleh’s killing.