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AP probe finds fatal shot that killed reporter likely came from army

Almost two weeks after the death of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, a reconstruction by The Associated Press lends support to assertions from both Palestinian authorities and Abu Akleh’s colleagues that the bullet that cut her down came from an Israeli gun.

Any conclusive answer is likely to prove elusive because of the severe distrust between the two sides, each of which is in sole possession of potentially crucial evidence.

Multiple videos and photos taken on the morning of May 11 show an Israeli convoy parked just up a narrow road from Abu Akleh, with a clear line of sight. They show the reporters and other bystanders in real time taking cover from bullets fired from the direction of the convoy.

The only confirmed presence of Palestinian gunmen was on the other side of the convoy, some 300 meters (yards) away, mostly separated from Abu Akleh by buildings and walls.

A man stands next to where Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot during clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops during a military raid, in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on May 11, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

Israel says at least one fighter was between the convoy and the journalists, but it has not provided any evidence or indicated the shooter’s location. Palestinian witnesses say there were no gunmen in the area and no gunfire until the barrage that struck Abu Akleh and wounded another reporter.

Those witnesses say they have no doubt that it was Israeli soldiers who killed Abu Akleh, now celebrated as a martyr to both journalism and the Palestinian cause.

In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands next to a TV camera with the Old City of Jerusalem in the background. (Al Jazeera Media Network via AP)

The Israeli military says she was killed in a complex shootout between soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, and that only a full investigation — including forensic analysis of the bullet — could prove who fired the fatal shot.

The Palestinians have refused to hand over the bullet or cooperate with Israel in any way on the investigation, but say they will share the results of their own probe with any other party.

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