Shireen Abu Akleh, the bullet that killed her

Israel says will test bullet that killed reporter, Palestinians disagree

General prosecutor for PA says ballistic test to be conducted in the presence of Americans with guarantees Israel will remain uninvolved; case is political test for Lapid ahead of President Biden's visit

Reuters |
Published: 07.03.22, 12:34
Israel said on Sunday it would test a bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to determine whether one of its soldiers shot her in the presence of a U.S. observer in a procedure that could deliver results within hours.
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  • The Palestinians, who on Saturday handed over the bullet to a U.S. security coordinator, said they had been assured that Israel would not take part in the ballistic testing.
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    הקליע שהרג את שירין אבו אעקלה
    הקליע שהרג את שירין אבו אעקלה
    Shireen Abu Akleh, the bullet that killed her
    Washington has yet to comment. The United States has a holiday weekend to mark July 4.
    The death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, during an IDF raid in the West Bank, and feuding between the sides as to the circumstances, have overshadowed a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden due in the region next week.
    The Palestinians accuse the Israeli military of deliberately killing the reporter. Israel denies the allegations saying Abu Akleh may have been hit by errant army fire or by one of the Palestinian gunmen who were clashing with its forces.
    "The (ballistic) test will not be American. The test will be an Israeli test, with an American presence throughout," said Israeli military spokesman Brigadier-General Ran Kochav.
    3 View gallery
    תיעוד מבית החולים
    תיעוד מבית החולים
    Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh's body at an area hospital
    (Photo: AP)
    "In the coming days or hours it will be become clear whether it was even us who killed her, accidentally, or whether it was the Palestinian gunmen," he told Army Radio. "If we killed her, we will take responsibility and feel regret for what happened."
    Akram al-Khatib, general prosecutor for the Palestinian Authority, said the test would take place at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
    "We got guarantees from the American coordinator that the examination will be conducted by them and that the Israeli side will not take part," Al-Khatib told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that he expected the bullet to be returned on Sunday.
    "We don't have anything new at this time," a U.S. embassy spokesperson said.
    Biden is expected to hold separate meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders on July 13-16.
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    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid
    (Photo: Rafi Ben Hacoun)
    The Abu Akleh case will be a diplomatic and domestic test for new Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
    Deputy Internal Security Minister Yoav Segalovitz said Lapid had been involved in "managing the arrival and transfer of this bullet".
    "It will take a few days to conduct a ballistic test, with several experts, to ensure that there is an unequivocal assessment," Segalovitz told Army Radio.
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