More than 50 Democratic lawmakers call for FBI investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh . murder

A group of 57 Democratic lawmakers on Friday wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting an American-led investigation into the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

“We request that the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) open an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death,” the group of lawmakers wrote.

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Abu Akleh was shot dead last week while reporting an Israeli military attack on the occupied West Bank. The Israelis initially blamed Palestinian gunmen for her death, but later came back and said they would investigate where the bullet came from.

But Palestine has refused to hand over the bullet and is calling for an international investigation.

“The Israeli military claimed the victims were caught between gunfire between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. However, media and eyewitnesses had conflicting reports,” US lawmakers wrote Friday.

They welcomed the statements and actions of the Biden administration, which condemned Abu Akleh’s death and called for an investigation. But the Biden administration has said Israel was able to conduct a thorough investigation itself.

“However, given the fragile situation in the region and the conflicting reports of Ms. Abu Akleh’s death, we request that the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) open an investigation into Ms Abu Akleh’s death,” the legislators said. wrote.

They also called on the State Department to determine whether US laws protecting Abu Akleh, a US citizen, had been violated. “As an American, Ms. Abu Akleh was entitled to the full protections that American citizens receive abroad,” they said.

“We have a duty to protect Americans who report abroad,” reads the letter co-led by Congressmen Andre Carson, Bill Pascrell and Lou Correa.
Israeli troops were also criticized for their violence during Abu Akleh’s funeral procession.

While her coffin was being carried, hundreds of Palestinians were seen raising and singing the Palestinian flag. Shortly afterwards, Israeli troops rushed to the mourners, attacking them with batons, including the porters, and leading to the coffin falling.

Blinken released a statement saying that the US was “deeply disturbed to see the images of Israeli police breaking into her funeral procession”.

Read more: US criticizes Israeli attack on mourners at Shireen Abu Akleh . funeral

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