Twenty-four U.S. senators sent a letter to President Biden on Thursday urging an FBI and State Department investigation of the May 11 killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. They did so in defiance of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which actively lobbied against the letter.
Abu Akleh, a star reporter for al Jazeera, was shot in the head on May 11 in the West Bank town of Jenin, as she and her crew reported on an Israeli raid on a refugee camp. The Al Jazeera crew and other witnesses said Israeli forces were responsible, but the Israeli government raced to blame “Palestinian terrorists firing indiscriminately,” tweeting a video that purported to support the claim.
However, demonstrating a sharply heightened capacity for honest reporting about Israel when Israel’s victim happens to be a journalist, several major U.S. media outlets have investigated the incident and concluded Abu Akleh was most likely killed by Israeli security forces.
CNN was particularly forceful, saying its multifaceted forensic investigation concluded that Abu Akleh was “shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.” In addition to video and acoustic evidence, the tight shot group on the tree she was standing next to was indicative of careful and deliberate fire, an expert told CNN. Abu Akleh and her crew were all wearing helmets and vests marked “PRESS.”