Shireen Abu Akleh: US militants slam Israeli abuses with ‘impunity’ | Israeli-Palestinian conflict news

Washington DC – The U.S. State Department often Say It “has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad.”

But on Wednesday morning, an Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Ackley Become the second American killed by Israel this year — the largest recipient of U.S. military aid and Washington’s closest ally in the region.

State Department spokesman Ned Price condemn the killing and called for an investigation, but later in the day he confirmed that Washington believed Israel would investigate on its own and would not demand an independent inquiry.

Ahmed Abuzneid, executive director of the US Movement for Palestinian Rights, said the call for an investigation was an “empty gesture” if it was left to Israel.

“You can’t ask the Israelis to investigate when they have been trampling on human rights for more than 70 years and expect them to come up with a different result than they did for decades,” Abuzneid told Al Jazeera.

“These are atrocities that the international community has witnessed time and time again – whether recorded on live video or not – and we’ve never seen accountability.”

On Wednesday, Price repeatedly said at a State Department briefing that Israel has the “funding and ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the killings.” abu akle.

He says it’s important to Washington for Abu Ackley Legacy is honored with accountability. “Those responsible for Shireen’s killing should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Price told reporters.

But recent events have shown that when Israel investigates misconduct by its forces, there are few meaningful results of accountability, Palestinian rights activists say.

government of israel initial reaction The killing of Abu Akleh was to blame for the shooting of the journalist by “armed Palestinians”, despite multiple eyewitness testimony that she was shot by Israeli forces.

“History and actions show that Israel cannot be trusted to investigate its own war crimes and human rights abuses,” Abed Ayub, legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commission (ADC), told Al Jazeera.

“We demand an independent investigation, free from political pressure and influence from U.S. and Israeli interests.”

January, 78 U.S. Citizen Omar Assad After being arbitrarily detained, bound, blindfolded and gagged by the Israeli army, he suffered a heart attack from the stress.

At the time, the State Department also called for a “thorough criminal investigation and full accountability” of the case.

In February, the Israeli military called the incident a “clear lapse in moral judgment” and declared Administrative Disciplinary Action There are no criminal charges against the battalion involved in the killing of Assad.

At the time, the State Department said it had higher expectations for the investigation, Say The United States continues to “discuss this disturbing incident with the Israeli government.”

But U.S. officials have said little about the killing of older U.S. citizens since then. Asked on Wednesday for an update on the case, a State Department spokesman shared comments Washington made earlier this year expressing condolences to Assad’s family.

At the same time, U.S. officials continue to lavish praise on Israel.This year, Washington’s annual military aid to Israel has increased by $3.8 billion $1 billion for “supplements” The Iron Dome missile defense system following the conflict with Gaza in May 2021.

When Israel Bombed the Associated Press Building Al Jazeera Gaza During that conflict, the U.S. State Department requested more details to support Israeli claims that the tower was being used by Hamas agents.

The U.S. government has so far not condemned the bombing Gaza Building Housing Media Office or provide a reasonable assessment.

On Wednesday, Price was asked what the target of the building was in the context of the Israeli attack on the media and the killing of Abu Ackley a year ago. “We express our concerns about the fact that journalists are at risk and their offices are being attacked,” he said, adding that those concerns remain today.

Maya Berry, executive director of the Washington-based Arab American Institute (AAI), a think tank, said calls for investigations are welcome, but the results of such investigations are what matters.

“The question is what’s going to happen next?” Berry told Al Jazeera. “That’s the crux here. What do they do next? Do we expect the Israeli military to investigate on its own and find that there was a ‘moral lapse’ or no mistake?”

Biden administration insists Israel is capable of investigating its alleged war crimes – an argument used against Palestinian push International Criminal Court Investigate Israeli abuses.

For her part, Berry denounced the lack of U.S. accountability for Israel, including the mistreatment of U.S. citizens.

“It’s a shame because we’re not just giving Israel an exception in terms of its treatment of American citizens, human rights violations — certainly in its treatment of Americans — you don’t give a reasonable explanation of what it’s allowed to do. Impunity , against the interests of protecting Americans, and certainly against our own American interests abroad,” Berry told Al Jazeera.

As a candidate, Joe Biden has pledged to take a fairer approach to conflict resolution in his outreach efforts to Arab and Muslim American voters, even though he has categorically ruled out conditional aid to Israel.

“Joe Biden believes in the worth and worth of every Palestinian and every Israeli,” Biden Activity Said on the Arab-American platform in 2021. “He will work to ensure equal freedom, security, prosperity and democracy for Palestinians and Israelis.”

Variations of this review stationary surface in statements from the State Department and the White House.However, Palestinian rights advocates say there is much more to Biden than restoring some humanitarian aid To the Palestinians – changing his predecessor Donald Trump’s policy towards Israel-Palestine.

Amer Zahr, a Palestinian-American comedian and president of the advocacy group Palestine New Generation, said the killing of Abu Akleh was a “targeted assassination.”

“The tepid response from our State Department confirms what we already know: the Biden administration doesn’t care about the lives of Palestinians, whether they are American or not,” he told Al Jazeera.

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