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Blinken offers support to family of slain Palestinian journalist

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Sunday for a “credible” investigation into the death of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as he offered condolences to her family.

Blinken said he spoke with the brother of Shireen Abu Akleh, who was a US citizen, during his flight Saturday to Berlin for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

“I had a chance to express deep condolences for her loss, our deep respect for the work that she did as a journalist for many years,” Blinken told reporters in Berlin.

He said he discussed the “need to have an immediate and a credible investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.”

He said the Al Jazeera journalist was “widely respected around the world”.

Blinken offered the support of US diplomats in Jerusalem to the family of Abu Akleh, who also held US citizenship, a US official said.

Al Jazeera said Israel shot her “in cold blood.” Israel, which has been facing a series of attacks, initially said Palestinian gunmen could be to blame before backtracking and promising to investigate.

At her funeral on Friday, baton-wielding Israeli police descended upon mourners and grabbed Palestinian flags, with the pallbearers struggling not to drop her casket.

Blinken earlier said he was “deeply troubled” by the Israeli police’s actions and the State Department urged a transparent investigation into her killing.