Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Shmulik Almany

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Saturday issued a statement following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s conversation with Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Price said that the two discussed a “range of shared security challenges, including the threats posed by Iran and U.S. support for Israel’s security.”

“Secretary Blinken reiterated the administration’s belief that Israelis and Palestinians deserve to enjoy equal measures of security, freedom, and democracy. The Secretary also raised the tragic killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the need for accountability,” added the Spokesperson.

Gantz’s office said in a statement following the conversation with Blinken that the Defense Minister “noted that the IDF is working to complete its investigation of the events that led to the passing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and said that Israel will share the results of the investigation with the US upon its completion.”

Abu Aqleh, an American-Palestinian Arab, was shot dead on May 11 while covering clashes between IDF soldiers and terrorists in Jenin for Al Jazeera.

Israel has stated that without access to the bullet which killed her it is impossible to know which side fired the shot. The Palestinian Authority (PA) initially refused Israel’s request to launch a joint probe to investigate the incident, and instead released the findings of its investigation, claiming that she was shot by IDF forces.

Earlier this month, the PA finally agreed to a forensic investigation by the US of the bullet that they claim killed Abu Aqleh.

The State Department said several days later, based on a probe by the US Security Coordinator (USSC), that Abu Aqleh was likely killed by gunfire from Israeli positions but that it was probably unintentional and it could not be said for certain.

Members of Abu Aqleh’s family last week met Blinken to demand justice for her death. Lina Abu Aqleh, Shireen Abu Aqleh's niece, posted on Twitter after Tuesday's meeting that family members wanted to meet President Joe Biden himself and that anything short of a US investigation that led to accountability was unacceptable.

"Although he made some commitments on Shireen’s killing, we’re still waiting to see if this administration will meaningfully answer our calls for #JusticeForShireen," she wrote of meeting Blinken, according to Reuters.