According to the US Department of State, independent investigators were unable to “draw a definite determination” about the origin of the bullet that killed Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, but an Israeli military shooting was “likely involved.”
“Ballistic specialists found the bullet was substantially damaged, preventing a definitive determination,” the US govt stated on Monday.
The US Security Coordinator stated on Monday, summarising investigations by both Israel & the Palestinian Authority, that there was no cause to suspect the shooting was deliberate.
Independent investigations conducted by Palestinian authorities, international rights groups, and media sources found that Abu Akleh was slain by Israeli forces.
On May 11, Abu Akleh was shot in the head while documenting an Israeli army operation on the Jenin refugee centre in the occupied West Bank, while wearing a flak jacket & helmet plainly labelled “PRESS.”
Last month, the Un human rights office stated that information obtained indicated that the gunshot that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli soldiers. Several witnesses stated that Israeli soldiers assassinated the Palestinian-American journalist born in Jerusalem.
“What we do realize is that the battalions that Israel deploys to Jenin, the occupied town & refugee camp in the northeastern West Bank, are not military or marines; they are special troops,” Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara said.
“Those special troops are, to put it frankly, assassination teams from the Israeli army.”
The family of Abu Akleh claimed in a statement that they were “shocked” that the investigation could not establish who fired the gunshot that killed her.
“We will continue to push for Shireen’s justice and to hold the Israeli military & gov’t accountable, regardless of attempts to obscure the truth of what happened on May 11,” the statement stated.