Palestinian Authority investigation accuses Israel of deliberately killing Al Jazeera journalist | International

An investigation by the Palestinian Authority has concluded that Israeli forces deliberately killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on the 11th in Jenin (West Bank). The Palestinian attorney general, Akram al Jatib, presented this Thursday in Ramallah the results of the forensic and ballistic reports on the death of the reporter when she was covering the information of an army intervention against Palestinian militiamen. “It is proven that there were no Palestinian armed groups in the place where the events took place, and that only Israeli troops had been deployed,” said the attorney general, who reported that a 5-gauge bullet was found in the body of Abu Akleh. 56-millimeter caliber, reinforced with a type of steel used by NATO, ammunition that is only used by Israel in the region.

The Palestinian attorney general also stated that the shot that caused the death of the Palestinian journalist was fired by an Israeli soldier who was about 170 meters from the place where she was shot. The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will not hand over the projectile for examination by the Israeli Armed Forces, and that it will refer it to the International Criminal Court, which last year opened an investigation into war crimes committed in Palestine.

The investigations of the Attorney General’s Office indicate that the death of Abu Akleh was due to a deliberate armed action against journalists, typified as a war crime. The bullet examined “had the ability to penetrate (bulletproof vests) and was of the type used by snipers,” according to the ballistics and forensic report, quoted by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. The official Palestinian investigation points out that Abu Akleh, a veteran reporter in the Middle East conflict, was shot in the head while she was trying to take cover at the start of a firefight. Subsequent shots prevented her companions from helping her.

Palestinian Attorney General Akram al Khatib hands over the autopsy report of Shireen Abu Akleh to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) in Ramallah on Thursday.
Palestinian Attorney General Akram al Khatib hands over the autopsy report of Shireen Abu Akleh to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) in Ramallah on Thursday.PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT OFFICE (via REUTERS)

The Israeli army maintains that the Al Jazeera reporter was killed in crossfire in a clash between its troops and Palestinian militiamen. A military spokesman did not rule out on Tuesday that the shot could come from an Israeli rifle, and therefore requested a joint ballistic analysis of the Palestinians to determine the origin of the bullet that ended the life of the informant. However, the Israeli military justice declined last week to investigate the events on its own.

The Palestinian Authority has sent the autopsy report to diplomatic representatives of the United States, since Abu Akleh also had an American nationality. According to the Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, who deals with relations with Israel, the reporter’s family and the Qatari television channel for which she worked have also received copies of the forensic examination. Israeli Defense Minister, former General Benny Gantz, called the findings of the Palestinian investigation accusing troops of deliberately shooting the journalist a “blatant lie.”

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