Over 50 US lawmakers on Friday called on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to launch an official probe into the shooting death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. The 57 House members, predominantly left-leaning Democrats, noted that Abu Akleh held US citizenship and pointed to divergent Israeli and Palestinians versions on the circumstances of her killing on May 11.
“Given the tenuous situation in the region and the conflicting reports surrounding the death of Ms. Abu Akleh, we request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death,” they wrote in a letter. Meanwhile, the US State Department reiterated its call for a “thorough and transparent” investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing. Any investigation must include accountability, spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.
Abu Akleh, a 25-year veteran of the Al Jazeera channel, was killed in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. She was a household name across the Arab world, known for documenting life in the Palestinian territories. The shooting drew condemnations from around the world. Israel was widely criticized for the behavior of police, who pushed and beat mourners at her funeral last Friday, causing the pallbearers to nearly drop her coffin.