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Alongside Abu Akleh family, 7 Democrats call for probe of journalist’s killing

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Rep. Ayana Pressley speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill, calling for the US to open an independent investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, on July 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Facebook)
Rep. Ayana Pressley speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill, calling for the US to open an independent investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, on July 28, 2022. (Screen capture/Facebook)

WASHINGTON — Ten progressive Democrats hold a press conference on Capitol Hill along with the relatives of Shireen Abu Akleh, calling on the Biden administration to launch an independent investigation into the Palestinian-American journalist’s killing.

Rep. Andre Carson, who introduced legislation compelling US authorities to launch a probe into the May 11 incident, calls the killing “an attack on the fourth estate, the freedom of the press” and says Israel was responsible.

“This is the life of Palestinians in Israel. Even after death, the dehumanization doesn’t stop,” says Rep. Rashida Tlaib, referencing Israeli police officers’ beating of Palestinian pallbearers at Abu Akleh’s funeral.

She notes that standard procedure is for the US government to investigate the killing of American citizens abroad and laments that the policy has not been maintained in the case of Abu Akleh.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls on US President Joe Biden to meet with Abu Akleh’s relatives who are in Washington at the invitation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Addressing the family during the press conference, Rep. Ilhan Omar adds: “I hope you know that you have allies in Washington who will not let her death be in vain.”

The State Department announced last month that while the IDF was indeed likely behind her killing, a ballistic analysis found the bullet was too damaged to reach a definitive conclusion. Moreover, after analyzing Israeli and Palestinian Authority investigation into the matter, US authorities found that Abu Akleh was not killed intentionally.

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