Meeting with Shireen Abu Akleh’s family not on Biden’s schedule | Joe Biden News

US president seems to rebuff request for assembly with slain journalist’s household throughout go to to Israel and occupied West Financial institution.

US President Joe Biden seems to have rejected a request by Shireen Abu Akleh’s household to fulfill with him throughout his go to to Israel and the occupied West Financial institution this week, as strain mounts on the USA to make sure accountability for the journalist’s killing by Israeli forces.

The White Home launched a public schedule of Biden’s go to on Wednesday, and it didn’t embody a gathering with the slain Al Jazeera journalist’s kin. The New York Occasions additionally reported earlier within the day that Biden has “sidestepped” the household’s demand for a gathering. Abu Akleh was an American citizen.

Earlier than Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday, US Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan informed reporters that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had invited Abu Akleh’s household to the US.

“Secretary Blinken really spoke with Shireen’s household a short time in the past,” Sullivan mentioned.

“He has invited the household to the USA to have the ability to sit down and interact with them instantly. The administration, on the president’s course, has been very a lot engaged in serving to attempt to decide what precisely occurred across the tragic circumstances of her loss of life.”

He added that Abu Akleh’s killing “shall be one of many topics at play” throughout Biden’s talks in Israel. Sullivan additionally referred to as for “accountability and ensuring that we discover a approach to conclude this chapter justly”.

The White Home didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s request for touch upon whether or not Biden could be keen to fulfill the household in Washington, DC.

Abu Akleh’s household berated Biden’s response to the killing final week, accusing his administration of whitewashing what it referred to as “the extrajudicial killing” of the journalist by Israeli forces.

“We, the household of Shireen Abu Akleh, write to specific our grief, outrage and sense of betrayal regarding your administration’s abject response to the extrajudicial killing of our sister and aunt by Israeli forces on Could 11, 2022, whereas on project within the occupied Palestinian metropolis of Jenin within the West Financial institution,” the household mentioned in a letter to the US president.

The letter referred to as on Biden to fulfill the household and push for significant accountability for the killing.

Final week, the State Division acknowledged that the deadly bullet that struck Abu Akleh doubtless got here from an Israeli military place, nevertheless it framed the killing of the journalist because the unintentional “results of tragic circumstances”.

Though video footage, witness testimonies, and a number of investigations by unbiased media shops have proven that there have been no armed Palestinians within the space the place Abu Akleh was killed, the US assertion emphasised the context of the Israeli raid and taking pictures as a response to “a sequence of terrorist assaults in Israel”.

On Tuesday, the Committee to Defend Journalists (CPJ), a US-based watchdog, referred to as on Biden to talk out on press freedom throughout his go to to the Center East and grant the Abu Akleh household’s “request to fulfill with the president throughout his journey”.

Earlier this week, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez – two staunchly pro-Israel Democratic US senators who signify New Jersey the place Abu Akleh was a registered resident – joined the rising calls in Congress for accountability within the Al Jazeera journalist’s killing.

“We urge you to boost Ms. Abu Akleh’s case on the highest ranges and press for accountability throughout your upcoming go to to Israel and the West Financial institution,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.

“We additionally ask for continued US participation in clear and well timed investigations into any remaining or new proof.”

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