The FBI is opening its own investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. She was the Palestinian-American journalist with Al Jazeera who was shot in the head last May by Israeli forces while reporting in the West Bank wearing a press uniform.
After Palestinians accused the Israeli military of intentionally killing her, an Israeli investigation concluded the shooting was accidental and closed the case.
Now the U.S. Department of Justice is stepping in after more than 20 U.S. senators signed a letter to the Biden administration demanding an independent probe. But Israel said it will not comply. The country’s defense minister called the FBI’s move a grave mistake.
“We won’t cooperate with any external investigation and won’t allow any interference in Israel’s internal affairs,” Benny Gantz said.
ABC reported it’s not unusual for U.S. investigators to look into the death of American citizens abroad, but it is exceedingly rare for them to probe U.S. allied countries like Israel, which is recognized in Washington as having a credible and independent judicial system.
According to the Associated Press, this probe could strain the relationship between Israel and the U.S. They say it is a time when Israel, which is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing, is bracing for its most right-wing government ever, and progressives in the U.S. are calling for a more critical approach toward one of America’s closest allies.
MAHMOUD BENNETT: THE FBI IS OPENING ITS OWN INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLING OF SHIREEN ABU AKLEH. IF YOU REMEMBER, SHE WAS THE PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN JOURNALIST WITH AL JAZEERA WHO WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD LAST MAY BY ISRAELI FORCES WHILE REPORTING IN THE WEST BANK WEARING A PRESS UNIFORM.
AFTER PALESTINIANS ACCUSED THE ISRAELI MILITARY OF INTENTIONALLY KILLING HER, ISRAEL FIRST DENIED IT THEN DID AN INVESTIGATION IN WHICH THEY CONCLUDED ISRAELI FORCES LIKELY KILLED SHIREEN BUT THAT IT WAS AN ACCIDENT- THAT CASE WAS CLOSED
NOW THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS STEPPING IN AFTER MORE THAN 20 U.S. SENATORS SIGNED A LETTER TO THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION DEMANDING AN INDEPENDENT PROBE.
BUT ISRAEL SAYS IT WILL NOT COMPLY. THE COUNTRY’S DEFENSE MINISTER CALLING THE FBI’S MOVE A GRAVE MISTAKE SAYING QUOTE “WE WON’T COOPERATE WITH ANY EXTERNAL INVESTIGATION AND WON’T ALLOW ANY INTERFERENCE IN ISRAEL’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS”.
ABC REPORTS IT’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR U.S. INVESTIGATORS TO LOOK INTO THE DEATH OF AMERICAN CITIZENS ABROAD BUT IT IS EXCEEDINGLY RARE FOR THEM TO PROBE U.S.- ALLIED COUNTRIES LIKE ISRAEL WHICH IS RECOGNIZED IN WASHINGTON AS HAVING A CREDIBLE AND INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ACCORDING THE TO THE AP THIS PROBE COULD STRAIN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE U.S. – AT A TIME WHERE ISRAEL , WHICH IS THE LARGEST RECIPIENT OF U.S. FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING – IS BRACING FOR ITS MOST RIGHT-WING GOVERNMENT EVER, AND AS PROGRESSIVES HERE IN THE US CALL FOR A MORE CRITICAL APPROACH TOWARD ONE OF AMERICA’S CLOSEST ALLIES.