IDF expands investigation into Abu Akleh, calls on PA to hand over deadly bullet

The Israel Defense Forces said on Friday they were expanding their investigation into the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and issued a fresh appeal to the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet that killed him. killed.

Abu Akleh was shot and killed last month in clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian gunmen while covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin in the West Bank.

A Palestinian investigation said an Israeli soldier deliberately shot her. Israel has dismissed that claim as patently false and says it cannot say for sure who killed her until it examines the bullet, which the Palestinian Authority refuses to share.

An IDF statement said Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi had ordered that the team investigating the May 11 incidents be expanded “to further study documentary evidence from that night”.

The team has now been joined by “a senior officer with specialized technological capabilities from the intelligence department”.

The army also reiterated an appeal to the Palestinians to share the findings of the bullet recovered during Abu Akleh’s autopsy.

Palestinian Authority Attorney General Akram Al Khateeb, left, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh announce the results of the Palestinian investigation into the death of the Al journalist Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 26. , 2022. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The PA refused to hand over the buck, saying it did not trust Israel and pointing to previous cases of killings by soldiers who received little or no punishment.

“The IDF once again urges the Palestinians to hand over the buck,” the military said, noting that “the Palestinians have repeatedly participated in joint investigations with Israel.”

“The Palestinians’ refusal to hand over the buck and conduct a joint investigation indicates their priorities,” the statement said.

The IDF also condemned several independent investigations into Abu Akleh’s death which found she was shot by Israeli soldiers, with some saying she was deliberately targeted. He called the probes “biased”.

While the Israeli military says it cannot say conclusively who shot it until it has been shot, it reiterated that its investigations so far have shown that it does not was certainly not deliberately targeted.

On Thursday, the Al Jazeera news network, which employed Abu Akleh, published a photo showing the bullet that caused his death.

It was the first public image of the ball, which was at the center of controversy after his death.

Little information could be gleaned from the photo, as the bullet appeared to be of a type widely used by the IDF and Palestinian terror groups.

The United States has also repeatedly called on Israel and the Palestinians to conclude investigations into the death of the journalist, an American citizen.

On Thursday, the United States also called on Israel to release the findings of an internal police investigation into the violence at his funeral.

Israel Police said Wednesday they had concluded an investigation into the violence at the funeral – but did not release any findings.

Police launched the investigation following an international outcry after the veteran journalist’s coffin nearly fell when police attacked the pallbearers, beating some with batons, at her funeral last month.

Thousands of people had attended the service in East Jerusalem and footage of the unrest was broadcast live on television. Israeli authorities blamed Palestinian protesters for the horrific scenes.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday the United States is seeking more information about the funeral investigation.

Mourners carry the coffin of slain veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her burial at the Mount Zion cemetery outside Jerusalem’s Old City on May 13, 2022. (Hazem Bader / AFP)

“Certainly, for us, usually these investigations – their findings – are made public,” Price told reporters in Washington.

Price reiterated that the United States believed the funeral had “disturbing intrusions into what should have been a peaceful procession.”

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