US senator urges Biden administration to release report on killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
US senator has urged the Joe Biden administration to declassify a report on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead on May 11 last year while reporting on an Israeli military raid.
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“I urge the Administration to immediately declassify it in its entirety,” said Chris Van Hollen in a statement on Monday after viewing the report by the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“I strongly believe that its public release is vital to ensuring transparency and accountability in the shooting death of American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and to avoiding future preventable and wrongful deaths — goals we should all support,” added Van Hollen.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a senior Al Jazeera journalist widely respected for her extensive coverage of Palestine and Israel, was shot in the head while covering an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank city of Hebron. She was wearing a blue vest marked “PRESS” and a helmet.
Van Hollen said the report provides crucial insights into the events that led to Abu Akleh’s wrongful death, “including relevant information and findings about the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit involved in that operation – as well as other IDF units operating in the West Bank.”
“In the aftermath of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, Secretary Blinken has asked the Government of Israel to review the IDF rules of engagement in the West Bank, but he has been rebuffed – such a review remains necessary,” he added.