US: Examination of Bullet That Killed Abu Akleh Inconclusive
The US State Department announced on Monday that its examination of the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American citizen, to determine who fired the deadly shot was inconclusive, but that investigations by both the Israel Defense Forces and The Palestinian Authority show that “gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh.”
“The US security coordinator found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
The announcement came “after an extremely detailed forensic analysis, [by] independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the US security coordinator,” according to Price. He added that “ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement that Israel’s defense establishment would continue its investigation into the shooting of Abu Akleh. “The defense establishment is committed to uncovering the truth,” Gantz said in a statement. “It is important to emphasize that during this operational event, like in many others, hundreds of bullets were fired at IDF troops, which responded with firepower of their own, only in the direction of the sources of the shooting,” he also said, adding, “We maintain warfare morality in accordance with the values of the IDF, and take all the possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians while enabling freedom of the press.”
The bullet, which the PA on Saturday night handed over to US officials for forensic testing, was examined at the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Sunday evening and then returned to Palestinian authorities, Al Jazeera reported. Unnamed Israelis were present for the examination, according to the report.