An Israeli official said Tuesday that the bullet given by the Palestinian Authority for forensic testing to American officials may not be the one that struck veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
MK Ram Ben Barak, Yesh Atid’s chair of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said that both Israeli and American experts had deemed the ballistic analysis “inconclusive”. This could indicate that the PA bullet was not the correct one.
” If the tests cannot identify from what weapon and which person the bullet hit, this could suggest that it is simply the wrong bullet.” Ben Barak told Army Radio, having not seen the forensic report.
“It is virtually impossible to determine if the bullet transferred was the one that struck the journalist,” he said.
The bullet found in the autopsy was an MG 5. 56 mm round, an assault rifle caliber used by both the Israeli army and Palestinian terrorists.
The State Department stated that although the Monday tests were inconclusive, it was likely an Israeli soldier had fired the fatal shot.
“After a thorough forensic investigation, an independent third party examiner was unable to reach a conclusion about the source of the bullet that struck Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist and American citizen. This process was overseen by USSC.
Palestinian women stand on May 19, 2022 in front of a mural, part of an exhibit honouring slain Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh (portraits), at the spot where she was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli army raid in Jenin in the West Bank. ( RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty)
“Ballistics concluded that the bullet had been severely damaged. This prevented .”
from drawing a conclusion.
Two months after Abu Akleh’s murder, the Palestinian Authority finally accepted Saturday that it would transfer the bullet to American officers for forensic testing. Israel refused to cooperate in an investigation. The PA also cited trust issues.
Israel claimed for several weeks that it identified the IDF rifle which may have fired this shot but couldn’t prove it without the bullet.
Abu Akleh was an American citizen and was shot to death in a West Bank firefight. Israeli troops entered a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin to arrest terror suspects from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in a raid that came amid a spate of terror attacks that killed 19 Israelis.
Israeli specialists performed the analysis at a forensic lab in Israel, in the presence USSC representatives.
The IDF stated Monday in a statement that the bullet’s poor condition did not permit “conclusive determination as to the cause of Abu Akleh’s death.”
A photo taken by Al Jazeera shows the bullet’s alleged shape. Qatar-based media outlet claims that the bullet hit Abu Akleh’s helmet.
A photo of the bullet that killed veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and obtained by an Al Jazeera investigation has given fresh clues about the reporter’s killing by Israeli forces
: https://t.co/SyAd7FaQwE pic.twitter.com/nYbITHWN1O
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 17, 2022
” The USSC has been granted access to all investigations relating to Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian Authority over the past few weeks, in addition to the forensic analysis and ballistic analysis,” stated the State Department.
” Summing up both investigations, the USSC determined that Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by gunfire from IDF positions. USSC did not believe this to be intentional. It was a tragic result of an IDF-led military action against Palestinian Islamic Jihad .