RAMALLAH, West Bank –
The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday it gave the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to US forensic experts, taking a step toward resolving a stalemate with Israel over the investigation into her death.
Abu Akleh, an experienced correspondent known throughout the Arab world, was fatally shot while reporting an Israeli military attack on May 11 in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians, along with Abu Akleh’s colleagues who were with her at the time, say she was killed by Israeli fire.
The Israeli military says she was caught in the crossfire of a fight with Palestinian gunmen, and that it is impossible to determine which side killed her without analyzing the bullet. The Palestinians have refused to pass the bullet because they do not trust Israel.
Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said the bullet was given to US experts “for technical work”. He reiterated the Palestinian refusal to share the bullet with the Israelis.
Al-Khatib said the Palestinians welcome the participation of international organizations to “help us confirm the truth.”
“We are confident and confident in our studies and the results we have achieved,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what the US experts could discover without also studying the Israeli weapon that Israel believed fired the shot. There was no immediate message from Israel as to whether it would share the gun.
The Palestinian announcement comes just over a week before US President Joe Biden will visit the region.
A Palestinian official, who asked to remain anonymous as he discussed a diplomatic matter, said the issue was raised in a telephone conversation between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and that both sides hope the matter can be resolved to resolve Biden’s visit. †