Palestinians Give Bullet That Killed Journalist To US Team

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Yellow tape marks bullet holes on a tree and a portrait and flowers create a makeshift memorial on o May 19, 2022, at the site where Palestinian-American Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Palestinian Authority on Saturday, July 2, 2022, said it has given the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to American forensic experts, taking a step toward resolving a standoff with Israel over the investigation into her death. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

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The Palestinian Authority on Saturday said it has given the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to American forensic experts, taking a step toward resolving a standoff with Israel over the investigation into her death.

The announcement came just over a week before President Joe Biden is to visit Israel and the West Bank for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. It signaled that both sides may be working to find a solution to the deadlock.

Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent who was well known throughout the Arab world, was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military raid on May 11 in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians, along with Abu Akleh’s colleagues who were with her at the time, say she was killed by Israeli fire. The Israeli army says that she was caught in the crossfire of a battle with Palestinian gunmen, and that it is impossible to determine which side killed her without analyzing the bullet.

Israel says it has identified the rifle that may have shot her, but that it cannot draw any conclusions unless it is compared to the bullet. The Palestinians have refused to turn over the bullet, saying they don’t trust Israel.

The Palestinian attorney general, Akram al-Khateeb, said the bullet was given to U.S. experts “for technical work.”

He reiterated the Palestinian refusal to share the bullet with the Israelis but said the Palestinians welcome the participation of any international bodies to “help us confirm the truth.”

“We are confident and certain of our investigations and the results we have reached,” he said.

It was not immediately clear what the American experts could discover without also studying the Israeli weapon. It also was not clear whether Israel would turn over the rifle to the Americans. The Israeli military declined comment, and U.S. Embassy’s Office of Palestinian Affairs said it had “no new information to offer.”

A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a diplomatic matter, said the issue was raised in a phone call between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and that both sides hope to resolve the issue before Biden’s arrival on July 13.

An AP reconstruction of events has lent support to eyewitnesses who say she was shot by Israeli troops. But a weapons expert interviewed by the AP as part of the reconstruction said that it was impossible to reach a conclusive finding without further forensic analysis. Israeli leaders have repeatedly said that soldiers did not intentionally target her.

(AP)


6 COMMENTS

  1. And what if she was shot not from the Arab side in the crossfire between terrorists and the IDF, what then? Will this “clean” dirty Al Jihad-zeera pro terror enterpise?

  2. No, there is no way to confirm that. It is just not the sort of thing that can every be confirmed. Moreover, all decent persons have taken upon themselves to believe in the source of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death as a matter of faith, so looking for “evidence” of any sort is already heretical no matter what the outcome is.

  3. Commenter Menachem Shmei came close to the point. To use the bullet as evidence, experts need, at the least, a reliable account of the “chain of custody” of the bullet, including who held it, how it was stored, and lots of other stuff people more knowledgeable than would know. I doubt the Palestinian Authority has a credible record of the chain of custody.

  4. and after all this is said and done even if the army DID shoot and kill Abu Akleh intentionally it was still a good thing and a well-deserved death as she was an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people and worked as a propagandist against Am Yisrael

    yes the whole world will sit and condemn

    but it was still totally justified.