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Palestinian Inquiry Accuses Israel of Intentionally Killing Al Jazeera Journalist

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority introduced on Thursday its ultimate findings from a two-week investigation into the killing of a veteran Palestinian-American journalist, once more accusing Israeli troopers of deliberately killing her.

The Authority’s legal professional normal mentioned at a information convention within the West Bank metropolis of Ramallah that an Israeli soldier shot the Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, on May 11 with an armor-piercing bullet fired from a Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle. It based mostly its findings partly on examination of the high-velocity 5.56 mm bullet that struck her within the again of the top.

Palestinian officers mentioned that they have been the one ones who had examined the bullet and neither Israeli nor U.S. authorities have been permitted to look at it.

“It was proven that a member of the Israeli occupation forces stationed in the middle of the street fired a live bullet that hit the martyr journalist” straight within the head, mentioned the legal professional normal, Akram Al-Khateeb. She was shot “while she was trying to escape from the successive gunshots fired by the occupation soldiers,” he added.

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the Palestinian announcement by saying Israel was nonetheless conducting its personal investigation into her killing, including that any declare that the navy deliberately harms journalists is a “blatant lie.”

The Palestinian conclusions reiterated these of the Authority’s preliminary investigation, introduced two days after Ms. Abu Akleh was killed throughout an early morning Israeli navy raid on the occupied West Bank metropolis of Jenin. She was carrying a blue flak jacket and a helmet marked with the phrase “Press” when she was shot.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Samoudi, who was additionally carrying a protecting vest, was shot within the again.

The bullet turned the main focus of separate efforts by Palestinians and Israelis to analyze the killing as a result of etchings might match it to the gun that fired it. Israel has referred to as for Palestinian officers to share the bullet that killed her in order that Israel can see if it matches a rifle utilized by one of its troopers on the day of her dying.

But the Palestinian Authority, which administers elements of the West Bank, has repeatedly rejected Israeli calls to collectively examine Ms. Abu Akleh’s killing in addition to Israel’s request to look at the bullet.

The Israeli navy mentioned in its preliminary investigation that it was not attainable to unequivocally decide the supply of the gunfire that killed Ms. Abu Akleh and he or she might have been killed by an Israeli soldier or a Palestinian gunman.

A spokesman for the Israeli navy, Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, mentioned the military couldn’t touch upon whether or not Israeli troopers used Ruger rifles throughout the raid earlier than the conclusion of Israel’s personal investigation into the killing.

The outcomes of the Palestinian investigation drew from an post-mortem, forensic testing on the bullet and witness accounts in addition to tree markings the place different bullets struck, in line with the legal professional normal.

Amateur video filmed on the web site earlier than and after her killing exhibits that there was no gunfire within the minutes previous her killing. Bystanders have been chatting and joking with one another within the seconds earlier than she was killed, throughout a lull within the combating.

Ms. Abu Akleh was shot from a distance of between 170 to 180 meters away, the Authority’s investigation discovered. Multiple movies from earlier than she was shot confirmed a quantity of Israeli navy automobiles stationed up the highway.

An skilled reporter for Al Jazeera, Ms. Abu Akleh was an icon to many Palestinians, having reported for years on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank for one of the Middle East’s main tv channels.

Two days after her dying, her funeral introduced hundreds of Palestinians to the streets of Jerusalem. Israeli law enforcement officials beat and kicked mourners carrying her coffin, after a disagreement about how the coffin must be carried to the funeral ceremony in a church within the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel has mounted common raids within the Jenin space since late March. Israel says the raids are essential to curb a latest wave of assaults on Israelis, some of whose perpetrators got here from the Jenin area. Palestinians take into account the raids as a kind of collective punishment.

This week, the Palestinian international ministry mentioned it had submitted a letter to the International Criminal Court relating to numerous crimes dedicated by Israel within the occupied West Bank and significantly the “crime of execution” of Ms. Abu Akleh.

Patrick Kingsley contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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