Palestinians hand over bullet that killed journalist Abu Akleh to Americans

The Palestinian Authority handed over to the Americans for expertise the bullet that killed the American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, star reporter for the Al Jazeera channel, the Palestinian prosecutor told AFP on Saturday July 2.

Prosecutor Akram Al-Khatib indicated that the fatal bullet to Shireen Abu Akleh, killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, had been handed over to the United States which will assess it. He added that the latter had pledged to return it to the Palestinians.

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According to Palestinian sources in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, the expertise will be conducted at the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

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UN concludes Israeli fire

According to the Palestinian prosecutor, it is a 5.56 mm caliber bullet fired by a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle. These latest developments come less than two weeks before US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, as part of his first tour of the Middle East since joining the White House.

The Palestinian Authority, Al Jazeera and Qatar, the country financing Al Jazeera, accused, immediately after her death, the Israeli army of having killed the Palestinian journalist, who also holds American nationality.

And on June 24, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that the journalist had been killed by Israeli fire.

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Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh killed by Israeli security forces

The Israeli army keeps saying that it is “impossible to determine whether (the journalist) was killed by a Palestinian gunman shooting indiscriminately in the area where she was, or inadvertently by an Israeli soldier”.

She has also repeatedly called on the Palestinian Authority to give her the fatal bullet, the only way according to the Israeli military to really determine who fired. But the Palestinians refused and instead asked the Israelis to hand over the suspect weapon.

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Israel rejects UN charges

“All the information we have gathered – including from the Israeli army and the Palestinian attorney general – corroborates the fact that the shots that killed Ms. Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli forces and not from indiscriminate fire from armed Palestinians as initially claimed by the Israeli authorities”said a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani on June 24.

‘We found no information to suggest that there was any activity by armed Palestinians near the journalists’underlined Ravina Shamdasani again, considering that it was “deeply disturbing that the Israeli authorities have not opened a judicial investigation”. Israel rejects UN charges, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz citing investigation ” unfounded “.

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But in recent weeks, journalistic investigations have also pointed in the direction of the Israeli army. The journalist wore a bulletproof jacket on which was written the word ” hurry “ and a protective helmet when she was hit by a bullet just below the cup of her helmet.

She was on the outskirts of the Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold of Palestinian armed factions where Israeli forces were carrying out a raid in search of suspects after deadly attacks in Israel.

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