West News Wire: Independent investigators were “unable to reach a conclusive conclusion” regarding the source of the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, according to the US State Department, but Israeli military gunfire was “likely responsible” for her demise.

According to the statement on Monday, “Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.”

By summarizing both Israeli and Palestinian Authority investigations, the US Security Coordinator stated on Monday that there was no evidence to support the shooting’s intentionality.

Although clearly wearing a flak jacket and helmet marked “PRESS”, Abu Akleh was shot in the head on May 11 while covering an Israeli forces raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian officials, and many rights groups and media outlets, have reached the conclusion that Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh was killed by the Israeli military.

The United Nations human rights office last month said that information it had gathered showed that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli forces. Several witnesses said Israeli forces killed the Jerusalem-born Abu Akleh.

A senior Palestinian official accused the United States of protecting Israel after the forensic examination failed to reach a firm conclusion on the origin of the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.

“The truth is clear but the US administration continues to stall in announcing it,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told Reuters news agency. “We say Israel killed Shireen Abu Akleh and it has to be held responsible for the crime it has committed.”

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On Saturday, Akram al-Khatib, general prosecutor for the Palestinian Authority, said that officials had “agreed to transfer the bullet to the Americans for examination”.

However, conflicting reports over who would conduct the tests on the bullet emerged on Sunday, with an Israeli military spokesman telling Army Radio: “The test will not be American. The test will be an Israeli test, with an American presence throughout.”


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