Palestine rejects results of US probe on Al Jazeera journo's killing

by IANS |

Ramallah, July 5 (IANS) Palestine has rejected the results of a ballistic probe by a US team into the bullet that killed veteran Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May in the West Bank.

On Monday, the Israeli army announced that the investigation could not determine the party responsible for the killing of the Al Jazeera journalist, reports Xinhua news agency.

Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement early Tuesday that the Palestinian side "holds Israel fully responsible for the killing of Abu Akleh" and called on the US "to maintain its credibility", reports Xinhua news agency.

On July 2, the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was received by Michael Wenzel, the U.S security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, for a professional and independent ballistic examination.

The ballistic test was conducted in an Israeli forensic laboratory with experienced representatives from the US attending all the stages of the test to determine the weapon from which it was fired, the Israeli military said in a statement.

"Despite the efforts made, it has been found that in light of the condition of the bullet and the quality of the markings on it, it is not possible to determine whether the bullet was fired from the weapon tested or not," the statement added.

By summarising both Israeli and Palestinian investigations, the US security coordinator said in a statement that gunfire from Israeli positions was "likely responsible" for the journalist's death but no reason was found "to believe that this was intentional".

Abu Rudeineh said that the Palestinian side "won't accept, under any circumstances, the tampering with the outcome of the Palestinian investigation".

"We will pursue the case of her (Abu Akleh) assassination in international courts, especially before the Criminal Court," he added.

Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian Christian born in Jerusalem, was shot in the head on May 11 while covering an Israeli army incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

The incident drew widespread Palestinian, Arab and international condemnation.

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