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Israel Says it Will Test Bullet that Killed Abu Akleh, Palestinians Disagree

Israel Says it Will Test Bullet that Killed Abu Akleh, Palestinians Disagree

Sunday, 3 July, 2022 - 08:00
People light candles during a vigil in memory of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid, outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Israel said on Sunday it would test a bullet, which killed Palestinian-American journalist and Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, to determine whether one of its soldiers shot her and said a US observer would be present for the procedure that could deliver results within hours.


The Palestinians, who on Saturday handed over the bullet to a US security coordinator, said they had been assured that Israel would not take part in the ballistics.


The Palestinians accuse the Israeli military of killing the journalist deliberately. Israel denies this, saying Abu Akleh may have been hit by errant army fire or by one of the Palestinian gunmen who were clashing with its forces.


"The (ballistic) test will not be American. The test will be an Israeli test, with an American presence throughout," said Israeli military spokesman Brigadier-General Ran Kochav.


"In the coming days or hours it will be become clear whether it was even us who killed her, accidentally, or whether it was the Palestinian gunmen," he told Army Radio. "If we killed her, we will take responsibility and feel regret for what happened."


Akram al-Khatib, general prosecutor for the Palestinian Authority, said the test would take place at the US Embassy in Jerusalem.


"We got guarantees from the American coordinator that the examination will be conducted by them and that the Israeli side will not take part,” Al-Khatib told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that he expected the bullet to be returned on Sunday.


An embassy spokesperson said: "We don't have anything new at this time."


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