The family of slain Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday to demand justice for the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a regular news briefing that Blinken was meeting the family at the department and would reiterate the need for accountability.
Independent investigations by the U.N. and rights group say Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces on May 11 during an Israeli raid in the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
The State Department said this month that Abu Akleh was likely killed by gunfire from Israeli positions, but that it was probably unintentional, citing an investigation by the U.S. security coordinator.
Her family and Palestinian officials have criticized the U.S. report and maintained she was deliberately targeted. Israel denies this.
Our family just finished meeting with @SecBlinken. Although he made some commitments on Shireen’s killing, we’re still waiting to see if this administration will meaningfully answer our calls for #JusticeForShireen.
— Lina Abu Akleh (@LinaAbuAkleh) July 26, 2022
Lina Abu Akleh, Shireen Abu Akleh’s niece, posted on Twitter after Tuesday’s meeting that family members wanted to meet President Biden himself and that anything short of a U.S. investigation that led to accountability was unacceptable.
“Although he made some commitments on Shireen’s killing, we’re still waiting to see if this administration will meaningfully answer our calls for #JusticeForShireen,” she wrote of meeting Blinken.
Washington was focused on ensuring investigations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority into the killing are thorough, exhaustive, transparent and end in accountability, Price said during Tuesday’s briefing.
Price said the U.S. wanted to see timely accountability in the case, but declined to give a time frame for investigations to conclude.
The family had accused the U.S. of providing impunity for Israel over her killing. They unsuccessfully requested a meeting with Biden in person during his trip to Israel this month.
“We will pursue accountability for her murder wherever it may take us,” said a statement on Twitter from Lina, Shireen’s brother Tony and nephew Victor. “Shireen lived to uncover the truth behind every story, and so shall we.”
—euters report, edited for style and content