Tuesday 25 June 2024 
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UK MPs call for independent probe into Abu Akleh killing

Shadow minister for Middle East and North Africa joins other MPs in demanding accountability for Al Jazeera journalist’s killing.

Labour’s shadow minister for the Middle East and North Africa has joined other members of parliament in calling for the UK government to demand an independent investigation into the killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh that has triggered an outpouring of global condemnation.


Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head while on an assignment to cover an Israeli operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. Al Jazeera Media Network has said she was “assassinated in cold blood” and called the international community to hold Israeli forces responsible.


“The Labour Party unequivocally condemns the violence by Israeli forces. International law and human rights must be upheld and we stand with all those demanding accountability for the killing of Shireen,” said Bambos Charalambous, the shadow foreign office minister for the Mddle East and North Africa during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday.


“There must be an urgent, independent and impartial inquiry to secure this.”


Abu Akleh was wearing a flak jacket marked “Press” and a helmet, but was shot dead with a bullet to the head. She was a household name in the Arab world for her coverage of Israel and Palestine conflict.


Israeli police also attacked mourners during her funeral in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, nearly forcing pallbearers to drop Abu Akleh’s coffin, adding to the show of solidarity and outrage.


Israeli forces seized Palestinian flags from mourners and later smashed the window of the hearse carrying Abu Akleh’s body and removed a Palestinian flag.


Labour party member of parliament Naz Shah said Israel continues to act with impunity. “This isn’t just a story of Shireen either, but many other journalists including the 55 Palestinian journalists killed since 2000,” the Labour party politician said in the House of Commons.


Member of parliament Afzal Khan said that “it took more than 24 hours for [Foreign Secretary] Liz Truss to issue a statement following the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh.


“What message does that send to those responsible for Shireen’s tragic murder? And in light of the history, why is the government not pushing for a full, independent inquiry?” Khan asked.

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