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US to Open Investigation Into Abu Akleh Killing

    US to Open Investigation Into Abu Akleh Killing
    Last updated: 2 weeks ago
    Image credit: EPA [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • On Monday, Israeli officials announced that the US has outlined plans to open its own investigation into the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in May while covering a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. [1]
    • Palestinian officials, Abu Akleh's family, and Al Jazeera accuse Israel of intentionally killing Abu Akleh, who was wearing a helmet and a vest that said "press" when she was shot. [2]
    • The FBI investigation will come after months of pressure from Abu Akleh's family and US lawmakers who were disappointed with the State Department's previous inconclusive findings and the Israeli military investigation. [3]
    • Israel's defense minister Benny Gantz has denounced the inquiry and called it an "interference in Israel's internal affairs," saying that the country will stand behind the Israeli Defense Force's (IDF) previous investigation. [4]
    • The IDF initially blamed Palestinian gunfire for Abu Akleh's death before admitting in September that one of its soldiers had likely accidentally shot her, but that no legal action would be taken. [4]
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    Spin

    Pro-Israel

    While tragic, Abu Akleh's death wasn't deliberate, as found by multiple investigations. The IDF's probe — which included the US — thoroughly investigated the incident, while critics of Israel have been quick to jump to conclusions. The FBI's investigation will only waste time and damage the alliance between the two countries.

    Pro-Palestine

    The fact that the US is now launching an official investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh's death means that it likely has credible evidence that a crime was committed. This long overdue probe is an important step toward accountability for the frequent and relentless Israeli human rights abuses.

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