Biden rebuffing Democrats on new probe of Abu Akleh’s death

“I would not anticipate an independent U.S. investigation,” says American administration official.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Despite calls from a number of progressive Democrats, President Joe Biden’s administration has no plans to open a new investigation into the death of U.S.-Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, the Times of Israel reported on Sunday.

Abu Akleh, a veteran Al Jazeera correspondent who had U.S. citizenship, was shot to death while covering a shootout in Jenin in May. Palestinians claimed the IDF killed Abu Akleh, with some saying Israel deliberately shot her. For weeks, the Palestinians rejected Israeli offers for a joint investigation.

Ahead of Biden’s visit to the region, the Palestinian officials gave the bullet to American investigators who allowed Israeli ballistic experts to examine it.

Both the Americans and the Israelis concluded that the bullet was too damaged to provide a definitive determination of who fired it.

Unsatisfied Democrats are calling on the U.S. to open a new probe.

On July 12, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to the White House calling for the U.S. to investigate the death. Menendez is chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. A similar letter signed by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill) was delivered to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Meanwhile, 13 progressive Democrats co-sponsored legislation calling for federal authorities to determine if Abu Akleh was killed with U.S weapons.

Despite the Democratic chorus, a Biden administration official told the Times that the White House is satisfied with the investigations that have already been carried out.

“I would not anticipate an independent U.S. investigation,” the official said.