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Senate Democrats propose text of bill linking US aid to Israel to journalist’s death

A group of Senate Democrats is pressing for legislation to fund the State Department that would require the administration to determine whether it should block US aid to Israel if the administration finds that Israeli forces have committed human rights abuses or war crimes related to the murder of a loved one. Al Jazeera journalist.

The language would require the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress detailing the administration’s efforts to support an independent investigation into the May death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Al Jazeera journalist and US citizen, while reporting on a security raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

Democratic-backed language says any report should include a specification on “whether Section 620M of… [Foreign Assistance Act] applicable to such a case.”

Section 620M states that US assistance Foreign security forces should be banned if there is “credible information that this unit has committed a flagrant violation of human rights or a war crime.”

The legislative text was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-FTO), the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, as well as Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-D), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), and Jane Shaheen. (DN.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

“The United States must ensure an independent, credible and transparent investigation into the shooting death of American citizen and journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” the group said in a statement.

The language of our report requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress on steps taken to support such an investigation and to provide more detail about the findings. We will continue to work to get the full truth about this tragedy, ensure accountability, and make clear our unwavering support for press freedom and the safety of journalists around the world.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken recently met with the Abu Akle family in Washington, but the family and their supporters have been highly critical of President Biden and his administration. They say it has not done enough to press for an independent investigation and accountability for the journalist’s murder.

“For far too long, the United States has enabled Israel to kill with impunity by providing weapons, immunity, and diplomatic cover,” Abu Akleh family members said in a recent statement. According to The Times of Israel.

“If we allow Shireen’s murder to be swept under the rug, we are sending a message that the lives of American citizens abroad do not matter, that the lives of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation do not matter, and that the world’s most courageous journalists, those who cover the human impact of armed conflict and violence, can be dispensed with.”

An analysis by the US Security Coordinator for the District of Israel and the Palestinian Authority concluded that “shooting from [Israel Defence Forces] It is possible that the sites were responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Aqleh,” but she said that the bullet that was found was too damaged to reach a definitive conclusion.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a July 4 statement that the US security coordinator did not find a cause for Abu Akle’s death to have been premeditated but rather as a “result of tragic circumstances” during an Israeli military operation.

Several media investigations reported that Abu Okla was most likely shot by Israeli forces, and witnesses at the scene said there was no active conflict with Palestinian activists.

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