Blinken vows ‘accountability’ for death of Palestinian journalist
America’s top diplomat met with the reporter’s relatives after the State Department declined to blame Israeli troops for her death
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said those responsible for the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh would be held accountable, as her family members continue to demand action and insist she was killed by Israeli troops.
Blinken was able to meet with Abu Akleh relatives Tuesday. voiced his “deepest condolences”And made it a “commitment to pursue accountability for her tragic killing,”However, he did not indicate what further steps could be taken.
State Department spokesman Ned Price later stressed “the priority we attach to accountability” in relation to Abu Akleh’s death, but also offered few other details on how the White House plans to proceed or what was discussed during the sit-down with Blinken.
Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera veteran journalist was killed while reporting on the Israeli raid at a refugee camp located in the occupied West Bank. She was wearing visible markings that indicated she was a member the press.
Although the United Nations, several media outlets and human rights organizations looked into the matter and came to the conclusion that Abu Akleh had been killed in Israeli fire, an American official investigation concluded the same. “could not reach a definitive conclusion”Despre who pulled trigger. Although it recognized that Israeli forces had been “likely responsible,”According to later statements by Israeli officials, the report stated that there is no evidence of her intentional murder.
The journalist’s family was highly criticalThey were allegedly the subject of an American probe “incredulous” of its inconclusive findings, and has continued to press for consequences for Abu Akleh’s killer.
Following Tuesday’s meeting with Blinken, the journalist’s niece, Lina Abu Akleh, statedWhile the official “made some commitments on Shireen’s killing,”Her family is “still waiting to see if this administration will meaningfully answer our calls for justice for Shireen.”
“[Secretary Blinken]He told us that every American citizen has a right to be protected. We will hold him to this,”Elle continued. “Nothing short of a US investigation that leads to real accountability is acceptable, and we won’t stop until no other American or Palestinian family endures the same pain we have.”
LEARN MORE Israel exonerates Palestinian journalists
Although the Joe Biden Administration has not made any public statements about its inquiries to Israeli officials, Blinken reportedly brought up the subject in private when he called Prime Minister Yair Lepid earlier this month. Axios spoke to Israeli officials that said the government does not plan on further actions beyond the military investigation, which is already under way, so criminal charges seem unlikely.
For its part, the Israeli military initially believed that the journalist had been killed by a militant Palestinian but then said it couldn’t determine the shooter. It stated however “conclusively”That Israeli troops harboured “no intention to harm”Abu Akleh did not shoot at her in the raid.