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Blinken Urges Abbas to Finish Investigations into Reporter’s Death

Top US diplomat also discusses de-escalation, two-state solution during phone call with PA president.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, on March 27, 2022, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, on March 27, 2022, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday spoke via phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said.

“Good to speak with Palestinian Authority President Abbas today to discuss maintaining calm and refraining from escalatory actions and the importance of advancing a two-state solution,” Blinken posted to Twitter after the discussion.

The top US diplomat urged Abbas to conclude the investigations into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.

The PA blames Israel for the death of the Al Jazeera reporter, killed during a gun battle in Jenin on May 11 between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

The PA’s Attorney General Akram al-Khatib last week presented findings from a probe that he said indicate that Israeli forces “deliberately” targeted Abu Akleh.

For its part, Israel denies the charges that its soldiers would intentionally target the journalist and is conducting its own investigation.

Israel is calling for a joint investigation with the PA, but Ramallah has so far refused. Israel is also asking for Ramallah to hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, but the PA has denied the request.

The US has been pressing the PA to share the evidence with Israel.

On Friday, Israeli Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid told Blinken that Israel would share the results of its investigation with the US.

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