US lawmakers in a letter to President Biden said a transparent investigation should be carried out under US auspices due to Israeli and Palestinians' distrust of each other's inquiries.
A group of 24 US senators have urged President Joe Biden to ensure direct US involvement in the investigation of the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist who was covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank last month.
The group of Democrats plus two independents who caucus with them called for "a thorough and transparent investigation under US auspices" into the shooting death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter, in the city of Jenin on May 11.
"It is clear that neither of the parties on the ground trust the other to conduct a credible and independent investigation," wrote the lawmakers, led by Senator Chris Van Hollen, in a letter to Biden, who is due to visit Israel in July.
"Therefore, at this point, we believe the only way to achieve that goal is for the United States to be directly involved," the letter stated.
The White House and the Israeli embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Today, 24 of us are calling upon @POTUS to ensure direct U.S. involvement in the investigation into the shooting death of American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, so that all parties can have confidence in the findings and to ensure accountability. pic.twitter.com/HqwOFm4zg0— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) June 23, 2022
The Palestinian Authority said in late May its investigation showed that Abu Akleh was shot by an Israeli soldier in a "deliberate murder."
Israel denied the accusation and said it was continuing its own investigations.
The Israeli army had said previously that Abu Akleh might have been accidentally shot.
She had been wearing a helmet and a press vest that clearly marked her as a journalist.
As both Israel and Palestine could not get to a common point to investigate the killing media outlets started to conduct their own investigations.
CNN, on its part, said Abu Akleh was killed "in a targeted attack by Israeli forces."
New York Times, in a separate editorial piece, said that Israel "needs to grapple with how this happened and what can be done to avoid similar tragedies."