Absence of a US investigation into the Palestinian American reporter’s killing by Israel shows a ‘lack of accountability’, says family.
(Al Jazeera) – Justice remains elusive for veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, shot and killed by Israeli forces 100 days ago, as her family continues to call on the United States government to step up and conduct an independent investigation.
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American reporter who was well known across the Arab world for her 25-year coverage of the Israeli occupation, was fatally shot in the head by an Israeli sniper on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The 51-year-old was with a group of other journalists, including Al Jazeera cameraman Majdi Bannoura, who filmed the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The journalists were all wearing press helmets and vests, clearly marking them as journalists.
Now, more than three months after Abu Akleh was killed, her family – who were snubbed by US President Joe Biden during his visit to the Middle East last month and again when they went to Washington – said that despite overwhelming evidence and several investigations finding Israel responsible, the US has failed to do the bare minimum in holding its ally accountable.
“The US needs to step up and conduct an investigation into the murder of their own citizen and journalist,” Abu Akleh’s niece Lina told Al Jazeera.
In addition to Al Jazeera’s reporting, witness accounts and investigations carried out by the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations and several US media outlets like the Washington Post and CNN, have all concluded that an Israeli sniper shot Abu Akleh, 51, but the US Department of State said last July that it found no reason to believe her death was intentional, but rather “the result of tragic circumstances”.
The US sends Israel nearly $4bn of military aid every year and, according to Lina, Washington’s decision to deflect and ignore the overwhelming evidence in her aunt’s killing is the result of its continued treatment of Israel with impunity.