Abu Akleh family demands meeting with Biden, says US must condemn Israel

Family of slain journalist slams Biden for not adopting narrative that she was deliberately killed by IDF troops; demands a sit-down meeting during his trip to the region.

By World Israel News Staff

The Jerusalem-based family of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh demanded that U.S. President Joe Biden meet with them during his upcoming visit to Israel. They slammed his administration for “white-washing” Israel’s role in the fatal shooting.

In an open letter to Biden released last Friday, the Abu Akleh family pushed the narrative that Abu Akleh was killed in a deliberate assassination, accusing the U.S. of “perpetuating the baseless and damaging conclusion that the killing was not intentional.”

Abu Akleh, an American citizen, had been covering clashes between locals and the IDF in Jenin at the time of her death. She was standing meters away from armed members of Palestinian terror groups who were exchanging fire with the Israeli military when she was shot and killed.

“We, the family of Shireen Abu Akleh, write to express our grief, outrage and sense of betrayal concerning your administration’s abject response to the extrajudicial killing of our sister and aunt by Israeli forces,” the letter read, placing the blame squarely on Israel for her death.

The family called on Biden “to meet with us during your upcoming visit and hear directly from us about our concerns and demands for justice,” along with demanding that the Biden administration formally withdraw a statement made last week about responsibility for Abu Akleh’s death.

The early July statement said an American investigation determined it was impossible to conclude who had fired the fatal shot, as the bullet itself was too damaged for accurate forensic ballistic analysis.

By not adopting the narrative that Israel had intentionally murdered Abu Akleh, the family wrote, “the administration’s actions can only be seen as an attempt to erase the extrajudicial killing of Shireen and further entrench the systemic impunity enjoyed by Israeli forces and officials for unlawfully killing Palestinians.”

Addressing Biden, they charged that “your administration’s engagement has served to whitewash Shireen’s killing and perpetuate impunity.”

Ahead of Biden’s visit to Israel, Israel has made a number of conciliatory gestures towards the American administration, including postponing a long-awaited building plan which would link Jerusalem to the city of Ma’ale Adumim.