The US State Department on Monday published the results of the ballistics analysis of the bullet which killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh following the transfer of the bullet from Ramallah to the US embassy on Motzei Shabbos.
The US did not mention the fact that the investigation was carried out by Israeli ballistic analysts at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, a fact that the Palestinian Authority denied. The PA, which claimed that Israel deliberately shot Al Akleh, also refused to send its own expert.
“After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh,” the State Department said.
“Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.”
“In addition to the forensic and ballistic analysis, the USSC was granted full access to both Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian Authority (PA) investigations over the last several weeks. By summarizing both investigations, the USSC concluded that gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. The USSC 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.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the report by stating: “It should be remembered that those who bear responsibility for the incident are first and foremost the terrorists who operate from within population centers.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)