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Abu Akleh's family mourns US 'betrayal' and wants to meet Biden

Abu Akleh’s family mourns US ‘betrayal’ and wants to meet Biden

The family of the Palestinian-American journalist killed in a shootout between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, while covering an Israeli raid in the West Bank, lashed out at US President Joe Biden, in a letter published on Friday regarding his administration’s response to the circumstances of his death.

Relatives of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh have also asked to meet Biden when he visits Israel and the West Bank next week.

The family expressed “their grief, outrage and [son] feeling of having been betrayed”, accusing the United States of trying to minimize Israel’s responsibility. A US statement earlier this week said Israeli fire likely caused the death, without intent, in the May 11 shooting in the West Bank city of Jenin.

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The family called Biden to “a meeting during your next visit to discuss our concerns and demands for justice.”

This could cloud Biden’s trip to Israel and the West Bank next week, and US officials have yet to officially respond to the request.

The reconstruction organized by the Associated Press gave credence to Palestinian eyewitnesses assuring that she had been shot by Israeli soldiers, without ruling on the merits. Investigations by CNN, the New York Times and the washington postas by the UN human rights office, have led to similar conclusions.

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, has claimed that its investigation showed the intentional nature of Abu Akleh’s death, which Israel strongly disputes, indicating that she could have been shot by an Israeli soldier as well as a gunman. Palestinian.

The Israeli investigation continues.

The State Department [américain] said in a July 4 statement that the bullet responsible for the journalist’s death was too damaged for the analysis to be conclusive. The statement said the United States reviewed the findings of separate investigations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and determined that she was likely hit by Israeli fire.

But he found “no reason to believe in any intentional character”, saying it was rather “a tragic combination of circumstances”.

Shireen Abu Akleh reporting from the West Bank for Al Jazeera in an undated clip. (Credit: Al Jazeera screenshot)

Abu Akleh’s family argues ‘existing evidence’ supports deliberate shooting by Israeli soldier, blaming administration [américaine] of “not having met their expectation” of a credible and independent investigation.

“The United States prefers to absolve the wrongdoings of the Israeli military,” they said. “You might expect the world and ourselves to move on. In this case, silence would have been preferable. »

US Representatives and Senators have pressured the Biden administration to launch an independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of Abu Akleh, a seasoned Al Jazeera correspondent, known and respected throughout the Arab world.

Abu Akleh, who was 51, spent a quarter of a century documenting the daily lives of Palestinians. The people now regard her as a martyr of journalism and of their own national cause.

Israeli police drew widespread criticism after attacking members of the procession and pallbearers at his funeral in Jerusalem on May 14. An Israeli newspaper reported last month that a police investigation had revealed wrongdoing by some officers, but that the hierarchy would not be worried.

Palestinians surround the body of Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh being taken to the news channel’s headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank, May 11, 2022. (Abbas Momani/Pool via AP)

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the United States had sought clarification on Abu Akleh’s death, but did not suggest that Israel initiate criminal proceedings. The IDF said it is continuing the investigation.

Two officials familiar with the matter told the Times of Israel that Israel took offense at the State Department’s decision to attribute responsibility for the fatal shot to it, indicating that the findings should have been excluded from the official statement, given the poor condition of the bullet, which did not allow to provide a definitive answer.

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