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Palestinian Authority expected to hand over bullet that killed Al Jazeera reporter — reports

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A mural of slain of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in Gaza City, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A mural of slain of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in Gaza City, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Israeli officials say they believe the Palestinian Authority will hand over the bullet removed from the body of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to be examined by Israel.

In a briefing to Hebrew-language media, an unnamed Israeli official says the bullet may be transferred to Israel, via an American official, within the next day.

The Walla news site says the bullet may be given to US Security Coordinator Mike Fenzel, and an immediate ballistic analysis will take place, with results expected on Sunday.

The Palestinian-American journalist, who was wearing a vest marked “Press” and a helmet, was killed during clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian gunmen while she was covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on May 11.

Israel initially blamed Palestinian gunmen for the shooting, but later acknowledged that Abu Akleh could also have been killed by Israeli soldiers.

Israeli military officials have said that they have identified a gun that could have fired the shot that killed Abu Akleh, but that confirmation would require ballistic analysis to match the gun to the bullet.

Ramallah has so far refused to either turn over the bullet to Israel or to conduct a joint investigation.

While the IDF says it can’t conclusively say who shot Abu Akleh until it gets the bullet, it has reiterated that its investigations up till now have found she was not targeted deliberately.

The veteran Al Jazeera journalist was a familiar face to millions of viewers across the Arab world. An American citizen who held an Israeli-issued East Jerusalem identity card, Abu Akleh was widely regarded as a trailblazing correspondent, both for women and for Palestinians. Her death shocked Palestinians and sparked an international outcry.

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