The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken promised on Tuesday to demand accountability for the death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the subject of a lively disagreement between Israel and the Palestinian authorities.
The Palestinian journalist, star of the Al Jazeera channel, who also held American nationality, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.
During an exchange on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, which is being held this week in Los Angeles, California, the American Secretary of State had to answer a question on the “total absence of repercussions” for Israel, a historic ally of the UNITED STATES.
“I’m sorry but with all due respect, the facts have not yet been established,” said Antony Blinken.
“We expect an independent, credible investigation. When that investigation takes place, we will follow its developments, whatever they are. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
Mr. Blinken, who spoke with the reporter’s family, said “mourn the loss of Shireen. She was a great journalist and an American citizen”.
In his report published on May 26, the chief Palestinian prosecutor concluded that the Al Jazeera journalist had been shot at by an Israeli soldier. A CNN investigation also points to Israeli responsibility.
The Israeli authorities, however, brushed aside these accusations, saying that no conclusion on the cause of the journalist’s death could be drawn until they had examined the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh.
The Palestinian Authority has so far refused to pass this bullet to Israel and to conduct a joint investigation to determine responsibility.
Dozens of Democratic parliamentarians have called on the American federal police, the FBI, to also conduct an investigation in order to have impartial results on the causes of the journalist’s death.