May 18, 2023

Van Hollen Statement Following Meeting with Family of Shireen Abu Akleh

Photo 5.18.23

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement after his meeting with family members of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot and killed while reporting on an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Senator met with Lina and Victor Abu Akleh, the niece and nephew of Shireen, as well as Jennifer Zacharia, cousin of Shireen:
“Just over a year ago, Shireen Abu Akleh, an American citizen and respected journalist, was killed while reporting on an Israeli Defense Forces operation in the West Bank. At the time of her shooting, Shireen was doing her job – reporting the facts. Shortly after her death, the United States – from President Biden to Secretary Blinken – called for accountability. 
“Yet today, a year later, as I met with Shireen’s niece Lina, nephew Victor, and cousin Jennifer, we still do not have the accountability the American people, her family, and her fellow journalists deserve. Nor have we had an official, independent investigation into her killing. That is unacceptable. 

“As I told Shireen’s family today, one year after her killing, I remain fully committed to working with them to get the whole truth, accountability, and justice. We must not rest until we do.” 
Senator Van Hollen has repeatedly called for an independent and transparent investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. Most recently, he has pressed the State Department to release a new report compiled by the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Shireen’s shooting death. He followed up on this request in his questioning during a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, in which an administration official acknowledged the need for accountability in Shireen’s death. He has also led two letters pressing for answers, which can be found here and here. The Senator has also authored amendments requiring the State Department and Administration to provide further information on her death, including one that was adopted on a bipartisan basis by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last September.

Pictured above: Senator Van Hollen (D-Md.) meets with members of Shireen Abu Akleh’s family.