The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday that it has given US forensic experts the bullet that shot Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh, as a step towards resolving the standoff with Israel over the investigation into his death.
Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent well known throughout the Arab world, was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military raid on May 11 at the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians, along with the aides of Abu Akleh, who was with him at the time, say he was killed by Israeli gunfire.
The Israeli military says she was caught in the crossfire of a battle with Palestinian gunmen, and it is impossible to determine which side killed her without analyzing the bullet. The Palestinians refused to fire, saying they did not trust Israel.
Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said the bullet was given to US experts “for technical work”. He reiterated the Palestinian refusal to share the bullet with Israel.
Al-Khatib said Palestine welcomes the participation of any international body to “help us confirm the truth”.
“We are confident and have come to our investigation and conclusion,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what US experts could discover without studying the Israeli weapon that Israel may have fired. There was no immediate word from Israel whether it would share the rifle.
The Palestinian announcement comes just a week before President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.
A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was discussing a diplomatic matter, said the issue was raised in a phone call between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and both The parties hope to resolve the issue before Biden’s visit. ,