US calls for ‘accountability’ in Abu Akleh case ahead of West Coast visit Biden According to Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A photo of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in an Israeli raid in Jenin, is displayed at the Al-Jazeera headquarters building in Doha, Qatar, May 11, year 2022. REUTERS / Imad Creidi / File Photo
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday called for accountability over the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in an Israeli West Bank raid that is expected to be an issue. The main topic of President Joe Biden’s Middle East visit.
Washington has concluded she may have been hit by an Israeli bullet and says they have no reason to believe it was intentional.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One before Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated that view but said Washington did not consider the case closed.
“The administration, under the direction of the president, has been heavily involved in helping to try to determine exactly what happened around the tragic circumstances of her death,” he said.
“There will have to be efforts made in accountability and in ensuring that we find a way to justly end this chapter. This is a former journalist, an American citizen. President, Secretary of State, the entire team is deeply saddened by the family,” he said.
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist working for the Al Jazeera network, was shot in the head on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
The Palestinians believe she was intentionally killed by the Israeli army. Israel denies its soldiers intentionally shot her and says she may have been killed by erroneous army fire or by a Palestinian gunman.
Sullivan said Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the family and invited them to a meeting in Washington.
Anton Abu Akleh, the brother of the slain journalist, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that he welcomed Blinken’s invitation.
“We hope the US administration will revise its previous report and issue a new report based on the facts,” he said.
Biden’s talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Friday will be the first between an American president and a Palestinian leader since the Obama administration.
Palestinians boycott the Trump administration because of their bias.
Palestinian journalists gathered in Gaza City on Wednesday to call for “justice” for Abu Akleh, one of the most prominent journalists covering the conflict.
Mohammad Yassin, president of the Palestine Journalists Forum, said: “When President Biden visited the region for the first time, we were here to demand the protection of Palestinian journalists and to hold responsible for the occupation. colleague Shireen Abu Akleh”.
Israel says Palestinian gunmen clashed with their forces at the scene of Abu Akleh’s death, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact situation, but its troops did not intentionally shoot her.
The UN human rights office has supported eyewitness accounts that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli fire.
The Palestinian said her gunshot wound to the head and other evidence suggested she was intentionally targeted. They have vowed to pursue the case before the International Criminal Court.
(This story is assembled to correct adult name Antony, paragraph 8)