WASHINGTON, Friday, May 20, 2022 (WAFA) – More than 50 US lawmakers have signed a letter demanding the FBI and State Department to investigate the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, after the Israeli occupation army said it would not investigate the case.
Abu Akleh, a 25-year veteran journalist for Al Jazeera, was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces last week while covering an Israeli raid into the Jenin refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank.
The letter, first revealed by The Intercept earlier this week, says the US should be directly involved in an investigation of the journalist, who was an American citizen.
"As Members of Congress, we are deeply concerned by the death of Ms. Abu Akleh. Journalists worldwide must be protected at all costs," said the letter today, according to a quote by Middle East Eye.
"We request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death. We also request the US Department of State determines whether any US laws protecting Ms. Abu Akleh, an American citizen, were violated."
The statement is addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Abu Akleh’s family has urged the US government and international community to step in and ensure an independent probe after the Israeli military said it would not investigate.
Palestinian rights advocates have been urging Washington to condition or restrict US aid to Israel over the killing of Abu Akleh and other Israeli rights abuses.
The Al Jazeera journalist is the second American citizen to be killed by Israeli forces this year. In January, 78-year-old Omar Assad suffered a stress-induced heart attack after he was arbitrarily detained, bound, blindfolded and gagged by Israeli forces.