Shireen Abu Akleh’s niece blasts US inaction in pursuit of justice for aunt’s killing
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent
Lina Abu Akleh blasts the Biden administration for its refusal to open an independent investigation into the May 11 killing of her aunt Shireen, a Palestinian-American reporter for Al Jazeera.
“It’s been almost four months now with no accountability and no action from the US administration,” Lina Abu Akleh says during a press conference organized by the National Press Club in Washington.
The Biden administration condemned the killing that was the result of a firefight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen during an IDF raid of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. However, it has refrained from opening its own investigation, sufficing with the findings of Israeli and Palestinian investigators, along with a ballistics analysis of the bullet, which turned out to be inconclusive. The US says the IDF was likely responsible for the death but that she was not shot on purpose.
Lina Abu Akleh was in Washington last month meeting with two other relatives and they met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with a handful of US lawmakers. They have found a sympathetic audience in progressive Democrats who are also calling on the administration to conduct its own probe, but support for the initiative has largely ended there.
“We appreciate some of the light commitments that were made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken… to be transparent with our family, but that’s been it,” Abu Akleh says.
She calls on the Biden administration to present its next steps in the pursuit of justice for her aunt and urges lawmakers to support legislation mandating a US probe into Abu Akleh’s killing. The bill was introduced in July but is unlikely to pass due to a lack of widespread support.