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Instabul: US Set To Probe Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh's Killing

By Azeezat Okunlola | Nov 17, 2022

The United States has informed Israeli authorities that it would investigate the death of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

American news outlet Axios reported, citing Israeli sources, that the US Justice Department has told the Israeli Justice Ministry that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into Abu Akleh's killing.

On May 11, a Palestinian-American journalist named Abu Akleh, 51, Palestinian-American journalist named Abu Akleh was murdered while documenting an Israeli military incursion in the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Al Jazeera, CNN, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among other major news outlets, all performed their own independent investigations and came to the same conclusion: Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli bullet.

Benny Gantz, Israel's outgoing defence minister, has called the US decision to investigate the killing of Abu Akleh "a mistake."

Gantz tweeted that the Israeli Defense Forces had undertaken a "professional, independent investigation," the results of which had been communicated with American authorities.

"I have delivered a message to US representatives that we stand by the IDF’s soldiers, that we will not cooperate with an external investigation, and will not enable intervention to internal investigations," he said.

The Israeli army confirmed Abu Akleh's death in September, saying it was likely the result of "wrong" firing by an Israeli soldier.

Abu Akleh’s family, however, welcomed the news.

“We’re encouraged by news that the United States opened a criminal investigation into the killing of our dear Shireen,” the family said in a statement. “It is what the United States should do when a U.S. citizen is killed abroad, especially when they were killed, like Shireen, by a foreign military.”

“We hope that the United States will use all of the investigative tools at its disposal to get answers about Shireen’s killing and hold those who are responsible for this atrocity accountable.” 

Abu Akleh had reported from the Middle East for more than 25 years. She was well-known as a veteran on-air correspondent for Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language channel. Her death prompted an outpouring of grief from Palestinians around the world and a funeral attended by thousands in Jerusalem