Bullet that killed Al-Jazeera reporter to be handed to US, says PA

Abu Akleh, 51, was a US citizen who worked for Al-Jazeera for the past two decades.

 Shireen Abu Akleh (photo credit: AL JAZEERA)
Shireen Abu Akleh
(photo credit: AL JAZEERA)

The Palestinian Authority has agreed to hand over to the United States the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, PA Prosecutor-General Akram Khatib told the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera network on Saturday.

The Americans will carry out a ballistic examination after receiving the bullet that was extracted from Abu Akleh’s head shortly after her death in Jenin in May, Khatib said.

He emphasized that the bullet would not be handed over to Israel.

The decision to transfer the bullet to the US came after a phone call between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, Palestinian sources confirmed.

Abu Akleh, 51, was a US citizen who worked for Al Jazeera for the past two decades. She lived in east Jerusalem.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas bids farewell to Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during a live fire exchange between Palestinians and IDF, in Ramallah in the West Bank May 12, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas bids farewell to Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during a live fire exchange between Palestinians and IDF, in Ramallah in the West Bank May 12, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

How was Abu Akleh killed?

The IDF said they entered Jenin in order to carry out arrests and were met by “widespread and uncontrolled gunfire” as well as accurate shots and improvised explosive devices hurled toward troops.

Abu Akleh was killed toward the end of the raid on the outskirts of Burkin near the West Bank city of Jenin. Another journalist, Ali Sammoudi, was also injured.

The day after her death, soldiers reenacted the scene to create a 3D picture of the scene in an attempt to better understand where the soldiers and armed Palestinians were in order to analyze shooting angles.

The IDF added extra mapping units that specialize in high-resolution satellite images and mapping that are able to bring about a clearer picture of the scene.

The IDF has not ruled out any possibility about who shot Abu Akleh, whether a Palestinian gunman or an IDF soldier. The military has said the only way to determine who fired the bullet is to carry out a ballistic test to match the bullet with the gun.

The IDF has reportedly narrowed down the rifle that might have fired the bullet that hit Abu Akleh.