Romney, Ossoff call for probe into journalist’s killing in West Bank
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday asking him to launch an investigation into the death of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
In their letter, the lawmakers ask the State Department to launch a “full and transparent” probe into Abu Akleh’s death and call for accountability as well.
Abu Akleh, who worked for Al Jazeera’s Arabic language channel and was one of the region’s most recognizable journalists, was shot and killed last month during a raid conducted by the Israeli military.
Abu Akleh was covering the raid in the city of Jenin, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank region of the country.
“The killing of a U.S. citizen and of a journalist engaged in the work of reporting in a conflict zone is unacceptable,” the senators wrote in their letter. “All over the world, journalists pursue truth and accountability at great personal risk. Press freedom is a core American value, and we cannot accept impunity when journalists are killed in the line of duty. We insist that the Administration ensure a full and transparent investigation is completed and that justice is served for Ms. Akleh’s death.”
The senators also insisted that the Biden administration ensure “a full and transparent investigation” into Abu Akleh’s killing, asking for an update within 30 days.
The letter comes as U.S. officials, including President Biden, have publicly condemned the killing of Abu Akleh and called for an investigation to determine who is accountable for Abu Akleh’s death.
Israeli authorities have launched a separate investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing, with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett saying that Palestinian armed forces might have killed the veteran journalist. Al Jazeera, however, as well as journalists with Abu Akleh at the time of her death, have blamed Israeli forces, and a Palestinian investigation concluded Abu Akleh was deliberately shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz called the investigation’s findings a “blatant lie.”