According to the US government, the killed Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Akleh was probably shot by the Israeli military. But there is no reason to believe that she was killed intentionally, the US State Department said on Monday.
The Palestinian Authority has complained that the investigation was intended to “cover up the truth” about the killing of the al-Jazeera journalist. Abu Akleh’s family was also skeptical about the investigation’s findings.
Abu Akleh was shot dead in May while covering an Israeli operation in Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, a stronghold of armed Palestinian groups. The experienced journalist from the Al-Jazeera station, who also had US citizenship, wore a bulletproof vest with “Press” written on it and a protective helmet.
Investigations by the Palestinian Authority and the UN, as well as research by journalists, revealed that she was killed by a shot by the Israeli military. Israel initially blamed militant Palestinians, but later backtracked. Over the weekend, the Palestinian Authority then turned over the fatal bullet to the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinians for an investigation.
The US State Department has now said that the origin of the bullet could not be “finally” clarified. The bullet was badly damaged, so that despite a detailed ballistics investigation, no “clear conclusion” was possible, said spokesman Ned Price. Abu Akleh’s death was probably not intentional, but “the result of tragic circumstances”.
The Palestinian Minister for Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, wrote on Twitter after the results of the investigation were announced that the Palestinian Authority would not allow “the truth” to be “covered up” about the death of the al-Jazeera journalist and would only be “timid”. to point the finger at Israel. Abu Akleh’s family also said they were “skeptical” that the origin of the deadly shots could really not be clarified beyond doubt.
The Israeli army stressed on Monday that the ballistics survey was carried out by Israeli experts and not by US experts. The bullet was examined by Israeli experts in a forensic laboratory in Israel, the army said. US officials were “present” throughout the investigation. (AFP)