The Israeli military has identified a soldier’s rifle that may have killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, but says it cannot be certain unless the Palestinians turn over the bullet for analysis, a military official says today.
The announcement marked a small sign of progress in the investigation into the death of Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot on May 11 amid clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops while covering an IDF raid.
Palestinian officials, along with fellow journalists who were with Abu Akleh, have said Israeli troops stationed nearby killed her. The Israel Defense Forces says it cannot be determined who fired the fatal bullet without a proper analysis.
Israel has called for a joint investigation with the Palestinians. But the Palestinians, who have the bullet, have refused, saying they don’t trust Israel. They say they are conducting their own investigation.
The military official stresses that while the source of the shot is still unclear, “we have narrowed down the IDF weapon that might be involved in the fire exchange near Shireen.”
He renews the call for the Palestinians to release the bullet. If they do so, he says, Israel will “hopefully be able to compare the bullet to that barrel and check if there is a match.” He speaks on condition of anonymity under military briefing guidelines.