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Blinken Offers Condolences to Abu Akleh Family, Calls for Credible Probe into her Death

Blinken Offers Condolences to Abu Akleh Family, Calls for Credible Probe into her Death

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 07:15
Protesters in London at the Prime Minister's residence to protest the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called for an "immediate and credible investigation" into the circumstances of the killing of Palestinian-US journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Blinken announced that he spoke to Shireen's brother during his flight Saturday to Berlin, where he participated in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

"I had a chance to express our deep condolences for her loss, our deep respect for the work that she did as a journalist for many years," he told reporters in Berlin.

He called for "an immediate and credible investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death," expressing his deep condolences for her loss and deep respect for the "work that she did as a journalist for many years – widely respected around the world."

The US diplomats in Jerusalem support Shireen's family, according to a US State Department official.

During her funeral on Friday, Shireen's coffin almost fell to the ground when Israeli police attacked the pallbearers, according to scenes broadcast by local TV stations.

The State Department called for a transparent investigation into Shireen's murder.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli army official confirmed that the soldier accused of killing Abu Akleh had been interrogated and was sitting in an army vehicle 190 meters away from the journalist.

He was sitting in a jeep, armed with a rifle with a telescopic lens, and shooting through a firing slit, reported Haaretz.

The official told the newspaper that the investigation is still in its early stages, and it is challenging to complete the probe without Palestinian cooperation.

Shortly after the assassination, Israel accused Palestinians of killing Shireen and then admitted to the possibility that the fatal bullet was from an Israeli soldier.

Israeli officials are aware that their narrative is not accepted by the Palestinians, the Arab world, and many Western countries, and therefore they are preparing to face Palestinian retaliation.

According to well-informed media sources in Tel Aviv, Israel fears Palestinian operations and indicated that there are calls for revenge on social media.

The right-wing Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, said that "circumstances surrounding al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh's death on Wednesday could have disturbing diplomatic consequences for Israel, but also on the ground."

Israeli military leaders said it was necessary to conduct a broad and deep invasion of the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin to eliminate the armed cells there.

They are also considering expanding the scope of the confrontations to include the entire Palestinian areas, including the Gaza Strip.

The officials said they consider the Palestinian threats, stating that the Israeli assassinations will not go unpunished.

"We swear to God, the response to the martyrdom of leader ... [Daoud] Zubaidi will be painful, strong and unprecedented," the Jenin Brigade said after Israel shot the leader in the refugee camp.

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