The Palestinian Authority will allow US investigators to investigate the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, PA Attorney General Akram Al Khatib announced Saturday.
The Al Jazeera journalist was killed while covering an Israeli military attack in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 11. The Palestinian Authority has refused to hand the bullet to Israel because they could not trust the Israelis to conduct an impartial investigation.
“We will not hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh to the occupation, and we have agreed that the Americans will conduct a forensic examination of the bullet,” Khatib told reporters.
The bullet will be examined at the US embassy in Jerusalem, Khatib told DailyExpertNews. The Palestinians have received “guarantees” from the US that the bullet “would not be delivered to Israel,” he said.
The US embassy did not immediately respond to a request from DailyExpertNews for comment. Israel Defense Forces said it had no public comment yet.
A forensic examination of the bullet could potentially lead to an official determination as to who killed Abu Akleh.
The Israeli army says it is not clear who fired the fatal shot. In a preliminary investigation, the military said there was a possibility that Abu Akleh was hit by indiscriminate Palestinian gunfire, or by an Israeli sniper who was about 200 meters (about 656 feet) away in a firefight with Palestinian gunmen – although neither Israel nor anyone else has provided evidence that armed Palestinians are within a clear line of fire from Abu Akleh.
The Palestinian Authority says there were no militants in the area and an Israeli soldier deliberately attacked her.
Al Jazeera has labeled her death by Israeli forces as “a blatant murder”.
At least five journalistic investigations, including one by DailyExpertNews, have all suggested the deadly shot came from a position known to be Israeli forces. None of the investigations found any evidence of Palestinian militants near Abu Akleh when she was shot.
Abu Akleh covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for twenty years and was loved throughout the region for her fearless coverage. She was given a state funeral at the Palestinian presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
Palestinians – along with journalists, human rights activists and other leaders – around the world continue to demand responsibility for her murder.