Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Israeli Army Identifies Soldier’s Rifle That May Have Killed Shirin Abu Akleh

A military official said on Thursday that the Israeli military had identified a soldier’s rifle that may have killed Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Akleh, but said it could not be certain until the Palestinians asked for analysis. The bullet did not change.

The announcement marked a small sign of progress in the investigation into the murder of Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot on May 11 while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.

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Palestinian officials, along with fellow journalists of Abu Akleh, have said that Israeli soldiers stationed nearby killed him. The Israeli military says he was shot during a fight between soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, and it cannot be determined who fired the fatal shot without proper analysis.

Israel has called for a joint investigation with the Palestinians. But the Palestinians, who have the bullet, refused, saying they did not trust Israel. They say they are conducting their own investigation and they are ready to cooperate with any country except Israel.

The military official stressed that although the source of the shot is still unclear, “we have reduced the IDF weapon that may have been involved in the fire exchange near Shirin.”

He reiterated the call for the Palestinians to drop the bullet. If they do, he said, Israel will “hopefully be able to compare the bullet to that barrel and check if there is a match.” He spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing guidelines.

The military released the results of a preliminary investigation last week that gave two possible causes of death. It said that in one scenario, she may have been hit by Palestinian bullets during a fierce gunfight with Israeli troops.

In the second scenario, it is said that he may have been killed by an Israeli soldier who shot through a “designated firing hole” in a military vehicle at a Palestinian gunman who was shooting at the vehicle. It said it could not ascertain the source of the fire without analyzing the bullet.

The Palestinians are conducting their own investigations. Last Friday, the Palestinian Public Prosecutor said preliminary findings suggest that Abu Akleh was killed by intentional fire by Israeli soldiers. The prosecutor said the investigation would continue.

Bellingcat, an independent Dutch-based open-source research firm, has conducted its own analysis of content gathered from videos on social media. It said its initial findings supported Palestinian witnesses, who say he was killed by Israeli fire. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American and a 25-year veteran of the satellite channel, was killed in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

She was a household name across the Arab world, best known for documenting the hardship of Palestinian life now in its sixth decade under Israeli rule. The shooting attracted condemnation and statements of concern from around the world. Israel has also been widely criticized for the behavior of police, who pushed and beat mourners at her funeral last Friday, causing pallbearers to nearly topple her coffin.

Read more: US criticizes Israeli attack on mourners during funeral of Shirin Abu Akleh

Nation World News Desk
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