‘Biased investigations’: Israel reiterates call for Palestinians to hand over bullet that killed journalist

“The Palestinians’ refusal to transfer the bullet and hold a joint investigation with American representation is telling of their motives.”

By Sharon Wrobel, The Algemeiner

Israel on Friday reiterated its call to the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh to determine culpability amid publications of “biased investigations” into the death of Al Jazeera journalist in recent days.

“The Palestinian Authority cooperates with Israel on investigations from time to time,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Palestinians’ refusal to transfer the bullet and hold a joint investigation with American representation is telling of their motives.”

The 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist was fatally shot in Jenin, in the West Bank, on May 11, while covering IDF counterterrorism operations that followed a deadly string of terror attacks in Israel. Since the tragic incident, the Palestinian Authority has refused requests by Israel to hold a joint probe and hand over the bullet found in Abu Akleh’s body, hindering an Israeli ballistics investigation, the IDF has said.

In the aftermath of the incident, Palestinian leaders quickly accused Israeli forces of killing Abu Akleh, while Israel reiterated that it remains unclear whether she was shot by inadvertent Israeli or Palestinian fire during a gun-battle.

On Thursday, Al Jazeera published photos of what it claimed was the bullet that struck and killed the Palestinian journalist. Citing ballistic and forensic experts, the network alleged that the featured green-tipped bullet is used in an M4 rifle and of a caliber used by Israeli forces.

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Earlier this week, The Washington Post published its own investigation into the journalist’s death which concluded that she was likely killed by Israeli military gunfire. Last month, a CNN report claimed to present “new video evidence and eyewitness testimony” suggesting that Abu Akleh was shot in a “targeted attack by Israeli forces.”

“The IDF investigation clearly concludes that Ms. Abu Akleh was not intentionally shot by an IDF soldier,” the military restated.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi this week ordered an expansion of the investigation into the fire exchange during which Abu Akleh was killed, the military said.

“The Chief of the General Staff decided to expand the investigation into the incident, in order to deepen the understanding of documentations of the events on May 11,” the IDF stated. “For this purpose, a senior officer with technological expertise from the Intelligence Directorate was added to the investigative team.”