Israel investigates possibility IDF soldier killed American journalist

On Thursday, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al Sheikh called the killing an “assassination”. He said that the Palestinian Authority has refused to cooperate with Israel in the investigation and would not hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh to Israeli authorities, saying it had been taken for an initial ballistics examinations to An-Najah University in Nablus.

Sheikh said that the Palestinian Authority would release the results of the investigation when it is complete to Abu Akleh’s family and the public, as well as to US, Qatari and other relevant authorities (Al-Jazeera is based in Qatar).

In this undated photo provided by al-Jazeera, Shireen Abu Akleh stands next to a TV camera in Jerusalem.Credit:AP

Palestinian and Israeli authorities have not yet divulged what calibre of bullet was used in the shooting, a seemingly critical piece of evidence in determining responsibility. Rayan al-Ali, the director of an-Najah’s Forensic Medicine Institute, said at a press conference Wednesday that an initial probe showed that the bullet was shot at “a range of more than one meter,” but that it was still not possible to determine that it was fired from the gun of an Israeli soldier.

Services for Abu Akleh on Thursday included a memorial gathering in Ramallah attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, followed by a procession of thousands of mourners who carried her body toward her home in Jerusalem. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday. Abu Akleh was a Palestinian Catholic.

In Ramallah, hundreds of teary Palestinians pressed forward to touch, or just get close to, a figure who has become a beloved presence in living rooms across the region over the decades. One of her colleagues compared the emotional outpouring to the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasar Arafat.

The Biden administration, members of Congress and United Nations officials, among others, have called for an investigation into her killing.

Palestinian witnesses on the scene who spoke with The Post on Wednesday said the fighting in Jenin, during an Israeli raid on the town, was far from where Abu Akleh was stationed and had ended well before she was hit.

Ali al-Samudi, the producer, who was wounded in the back, told The Washington Post that the area where the journalist waited was “dead quiet” when individuals shots came their way. All the reporters were wearing helmets and protective vests marking them as “Press.”

The Washington Post

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