The State Department press release on the probe into the Al-Jazeera journalist’s killing contradicts multiple previous findings
The US State Department’s press release on Washington’s investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked outrage and triggered accusations of a whitewash.
Almost two months after the murder of the veteran Al-Jazeera reporter, Washington announced that an investigation by the US Security Coordinator (USSC) had concluded that Israeli gunfire was “likely responsible.” However, the statement asserted that the evidence was inconclusive and it could not say that Israeli forces were to blame, contradicting various other reports which had concluded the opposite. The US government also claimed that there is “no reason to believe” that the killing was intentional and instead was likely “the result of tragic circumstances,” to which Israel’s top human rights group B’Tselem responded by calling the investigation a “whitewash.”
“We are incredulous,” the family of Abu Akleh said in a statement of their own, in which they decried the State Department’s press release. What is perhaps most concerning about the State Department’s statement is its contradictory nature; it calls for accountability on the one hand, whilst simultaneously disagreeing with other reports that indicate Israeli guilt and making a poorly-substantiated assessment of intent. If the US government’s investigation cannot conclude Tel Aviv’s guilt or prove an Israeli soldier fired the shot, then how can it conclude that the “likely” culprit did not intend to kill Abu Akleh?
Robert Inlakesh Archive
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