The Abu Akleh family said in a statement issued today that they are incredulous at today’s announcement by the State Department that a test of the spent round that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, an American citizen, was inconclusive as to the origin of the gun that fired it. Following is the full statement issued by the family of al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh: With respect to today’s announcement by the State Department – on July 4, no less – that a test of the spent round that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, an American citizen, was inconclusive as to the origin of the gun that fired it, we are incredulous.
There were numerous eyewitnesses to the killing, and we have now had the benefit of reports from multiple local and international media outlets, human rights organizations, and the United Nations that an Israeli soldier fired the fatal shot, as there were no other armed elements in the area of Jenin where Shireen was murdered. The focus on the bullet has always been misplaced and was an attempt by the Israeli side to spin the narrative in its favor as if this were some kind of police whodunit that could be solved by a CSI-style forensic test.
The truth is that the Israeli military killed Shireen according to policies that view all Palestinians – civilian, press or otherwise – as legitimate targets, and we were expecting that an American investigation would focus on finding the responsible parties and holding them accountable, not parsing over barely-relevant details and then assuming good faith on behalf of a recalcitrant and hostile occupying power.
In other words, all available evidence suggests that a US citizen was the subject of an extrajudicial killing by a foreign government that receives billions of dollars in American military aid each year to perpetuate a prolonged and entrenched military occupation of millions of Palestinians. We were hoping that, for example, the FBI or other relevant authorities would open a murder investigation, much like they do in ordinary cases when American citizens are killed abroad.
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