American forensic experts are going to analyse the bullet that killed an Al Jazeera journalist in May as the Palestinian Authority attempts to resolve a standoff with Israel over her death.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was a veteran Palestinian-American reporter who had covered the Middle East conflict for more than 25 years.
She was fatally shot despite being clearly identified as a member of the press while covering an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
Her colleagues who were with her at the time, and other Palestinian eyewitnesses, say she was killed by Israel Defence Forces fire.
The Israeli army has said she was caught in the crossfire of a battle with Palestinian gunmen and called for the bullet to be handed over and analysed as evidence. The Palestinians said they would not turn over the bullet out of distrust.
The Israeli prime minister’s office released a video suggesting that a Palestinian may have been responsible – however an analysis by the Sky News Data and Forensics team shows the shooting in the footage could not plausibly have hit Ms Abu Akleh.
Israeli police subsequently caused international outrage when video footage showed them firing tear gas and attempting to arrest mourners at the journalist’s funeral in Jerusalem.
Some officers were filmed beating the legs of the pallbearers, causing the coffin to slip and nearly crash to the ground.
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Violence at journalist’s funeral
The Palestinian attorney general, Akram al Khatib, said the bullet was given to American experts “for technical work” and said the Palestinians welcomed the participation of international bodies to “help us confirm the truth”,
“We are confident and certain of our investigations and the results we have reached,” he said.
However the Associated Press said it wasn’t immediately clear what an analysis of the bullet without the rifle would be able to produce.
US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit the region in just over a week.
Source : Sky News