PA hands over bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist to US

2022-07-03 233139
(Photo: AFP)

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories  — The Palestinian Authority (PA) handed the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to US forensic experts on Saturday as it seeks to prove conclusively that it was fired by Israeli occupation forces.اضافة اعلان

The PA was assured that no modifications would be made to the bullet that killed Abu Akleh during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, and that it would be returned as soon as the assessment was complete, Palestinian Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib told AFP.

However, Al Jazeera reported that an Israeli spokesperson said that “the test will not be American. The test will be an Israeli test, with an American presence throughout.”

The PA gave the green light to hand over the bullet to the US, but not to Israel, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The Palestinian-American journalist, who was wearing a vest marked “Press” and a helmet, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin camp in the northern West Bank.

The official Palestinian investigation found that Abu Akleh was killed after being hit by a bullet just below her helmet.

It found that Abu Akleh was killed with a 5.56mm armor-piercing round fired from a Ruger Mini-14 rifle.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had promised last month to pursue accountability over the killing of Abu Akleh wherever the facts might lead.

“We are looking for an independent, credible investigation. When that investigation happens, we will follow the facts, wherever they lead. It’s as straightforward as that,” said Blinken.

Israel rejects blame

Investigations by the UN, as well as several journalistic probes, have found that the shot that killed the reporter was fired by Israeli forces.

“We find that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from Israeli security forces,” UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation,” she said.

The UN rights office inspected photo, video, and audio material, visited the scene, consulted experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses.

The probe examined submissions from the Israeli army and the Palestinian attorney general.

However, the Israeli army branded the UN’s findings unfounded, insisting it was “not possible” to determine how Abu Akleh was killed.

Israeli officials initially said Palestinian fighters could have killed Abu Akleh. However, Israel later backtracked and said it could not rule out the possibility that an Israeli soldier had fired the shot. Israeli media later reported that the military had no plans to launch a criminal investigation, Al Jazeera reported.

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