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Palestinians Reject Findings of U.S. Probe of Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

Palestinian Public Prosecution: The determination that the bullet was badly damaged and prevented a clear conclusion “is not true and we are surprised by what was stated.”
Palestinian children walk past a mural of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Bethlehem. (photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)
Palestinian children walk past a mural of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Bethlehem. (photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)

The Palestinian Authority on Monday rejected the results of the US investigation into the killing of veteran Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, especially the claim that ballistic experts have determined that the bullet that was extracted from her head was “badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.”

“This [determination] is not true and we are surprised by what was stated in the [US] statement,” read a statement issued by the Palestinian Public Prosecution. “The technical reports we have confirm that the condition of the projectile can be matched with the weapon used, in addition to the fact that the targeting of the martyr Abu Akleh, according to the evidence and conclusive evidence, was deliberate.”

The statement dismissed as “unacceptable” the US determination that there is no reason to believe that the killing of Abu Akleh was intentional.

According to the PA prosecutor, the Americans were aware of the results of the Palestinian investigation into the incident, “which confirmed that the killing was deliberate on the basis of video recordings or through eyewitnesses.”

The prosecutor said that the Palestinian investigation has “conclusively determined that the assassination was a direct targeting by a member of the Israeli occupation army stationed in the place.”

The Palestinians will work to complete the legal procedures to prosecute Israel before international courts, the prosecutor added.

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh rejected the results of the inquiry, saying the Palestinians hold Israel fully responsible for the killing of Abu Akleh.

“We hold Israel fully responsible for the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was assassinated by Israeli army fire in Jenin on May 11,” Abu Rudaineh said. “We will not accept in any way tampering with the results of the Palestinian investigation and we will follow up the case of her assassination in international courts, especially the International Criminal Court.”

Abu Rudaineh expressed “regret that the Israeli government has evaded its responsibilities towards the assassination of Abu Akleh.”

He called on the US administration to maintain its credibility and to hold Israel fully responsible for the “murder” of the journalist.

PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh also held Israel responsible for the killing of Abu Akleh.

“The Israeli occupation government bears the responsibility for the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, and we will complete our procedures before the international courts,” Sheikh wrote on Twitter. “We will not allow attempts to conceal the truth or indirect references in accusing Israel.”

Hamas, for its part, deplored the findings of the US investigation, dubbing them “a flagrant bias towards the occupation narrative, disregard for Palestinian blood, and an attempt to absolve the Zionists of the consequences of this heinous crime.”

In a statement, Hamas said: “These biased results from the US contradict all the results of the investigation previously conducted, including investigations by American media agencies. The Zionist occupation is primarily and directly responsible for the deliberate murder of journalist Abu Akleh, and we call for the opening of an independent international investigation and to submit the case to the International Criminal Court to uncover the truth and punish the perpetrators of this crime.”

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