Washington, MINA – The United States (US) concluded that fire from Israeli army positions was “probably responsible” for the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Anadolu Agency MINA on Monday.
However, US authorities said there were no “definitive conclusions” about the origin of the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.
“After a very detailed forensic analysis, independent third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the US Security Coordinator (USSC), were unable to reach a definitive conclusion as to the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” said US State Department’s spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.
Price said ballistics experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which they said prevented “a clear conclusion.”
He also said the USSC had full access to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian Authority investigations over the past few weeks in addition to forensic and ballistic analyses.
“By summarizing the two investigations, the USSC concludes that fire from Israeli troop positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,” he said.
“The USSC finds no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during the Israeli army-led military operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad faction on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel,” added Price.
The IDF, for its part, said ballistics checks were carried out in forensic laboratories in Israel and Israeli experts examined the bullets while USSC representatives were present throughout the investigation process.
“The physical condition of the bullet and the characteristic qualities inside it do not allow a ballistic examination to determine conclusively whether the bullet was fired from the weapon under examination,” the IDF said in a release.
On Saturday, the Palestinian Authority said it had handed over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh to US officials for forensic examination.
On May 11, Abu Akleh, 51, was covering an Israeli military raid near the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank when he was shot dead.
Meanwhile, Palestinian and Al Jazeera officials accused Israel of killing the reporter and Tel Aviv denied responsibility. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)