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AOC hits out at US aid to Israel following Shireen Abu Akleh killing

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says 'we can't allow this stuff to happen with US resources' in referencing Abu Akleh's killing by Israeli forces
Ocasio-Cortez has been a leading voice on domestic issues on the economy, climate, and has also been a staunch critic of US foreign policy across the world.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a staunch critic of US foreign policy across the world (AFP/File photo)
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Washington

US progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday, saying that Israeli forces killed the reporter while continuing to receive military aid from Washington.

"I think it's really important for us to have eyes on what happened with Shireen Abu Akleh in Palestine, she was killed by Israeli forces - A venerated journalist, a US citizen," Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video on Friday morning. "We can't allow this stuff to be happening with our resources."

"Our tax dollars are a part of this...we can't even get health care in the US, and we're funding this," she continued. "There has to be some sort of line that we draw."

Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces last week while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin. Israel initially said that she might have been killed by Palestinian gunmen, but later retracted this statement and said it would investigate the matter.

On Thursday, the Israeli army's military police criminal investigation division said it would not investigate the killing, claiming there was no suspicion of a criminal act.

The Biden administration had called for a thorough investigation into the matter last week but has not commented since Israel announced its decision to scrap the probe.

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In her one-hour long Instagram post, Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, said that Israeli attacks on journalists and media personnel should not happen and the US should end unconditional support to Israel.

"We saw an entire media building get bombed last year. That can't be happening with our consent, with us looking away anymore," she said, referring to the building that was bombed last May which housed Middle East Eye, the Associated Press and other international news agencies.

Israel receives $3.8bn in military aid from Washington each year, the largest recipient of any country.

The progressive lawmaker has been a leading voice on domestic issues on the economy and climate and has also been a staunch critic of US foreign policy across the world.

While she has been an outspoken figure on the Hill, she has been criticised by several pro-Palestinian activists for failing to oppose US military aid to Israel.

In September 2021, the US lawmaker triggered outrage for switching her "no" vote to "present" in a House bill to approve $1bn in new funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system.

AOC was widely expected to vote against the bill, but instead, she released a four-page statement which failed to clarify her decision to change her vote.

On Friday, more than 50 lawmakers, including AOC, signed a letter calling for the FBI to launch an investigation into the killing.