An image of the bullet allegedly used to kill Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has been obtained by the network following an investigation, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
The photograph for the first time shows the type of ammunition used to kill the longtime Palestinian correspondent in the West Bank last month, the network claimed.
Al-Jazeera has published a picture of what they say is the bullet that struck and killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. pic.twitter.com/XDlBXaTQoG— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) June 16, 2022
Al Jazeera reported that the bullet, extracted from her head, is a "green tip" round. A Palestinian official told the network the government will keep the bullet for further investigation.
Previous reports indicated that such a round type caused Abu Akleh's death. The green tip SS109/M855 bullet is commonly used in most rifles in service with the IDF, but is also used by Palestinian armed factions.Al Jazeera also reported that the weapon used in the killing of Abu Akleh was an M4, a firearm in the AR-15 family. These weapons are used both by IDF forces and Palestinian gunmen.
The claim of the M4 being the weapon used in Abu Akleh's death comes in contradiction to earlier reports by the Palestinian Authority, who asserted the Mini-14 was the killing firearm.
Initial Palestinian reports claimed that a sniper killed Abu Akleh, but 5.56 rounds are not used by IDF snipers, and M4s are not sniper weapon platforms.
Al Jazeera repeated its previous allegations that IDF soldiers deliberately targeted Abu Akleh.
CNN, Wall Street Journal and New York Times have released similar reports using OSINT to recreate the events that led to Abu Akleh's death, alleging that Israeli forces killed her. Some of these recreations have been challenged by the state of Israel as being baseless.
The IDF has concluded that Abu Akleh was not "intentionally shot by an IDF soldier," they said in a statement on Friday afternoon, following the report released by Al-Jazeera. However, the statement continues, "it is not possible to determine whether she was killed by a Palestinian gunman shooting indiscriminately in her area or inadvertently by an IDF soldier."
The IDF also reiterated its call to the Palestinian Authority "to share access to the bullet with which the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed."
Their request, the statement says, comes "following the biased investigations that have been presented in recent days."
The statement continues by saying that "the Palestinians' refusal to transfer the bullet and hold a joint investigation with American representation is telling of their motives.
"It should be noted that this was an operational event during which an exchange of fire occurred between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen during counterterrorism activities in Jenin. "
"The IDF regrets harm to non-combatants, including during exchanges of fire and active combat situations, and is heavily invested in maintaining the movement and freedom of the press," the statement concludes.
Police misconduct investigation
Al Jazeera's report comes after news that the internal probe of police misconduct at Abu Akleh's funeral was finished on Wednesday.According to initial findings of the police investigation, there was police misconduct in the incident that saw the beating of the pallbearers at the funeral for Abu Akleh, who was killed days earlier during an IDF operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Nevertheless, police have not published the findings and only said that Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev has been updated on the matter, according to N12. Critics have questioned the decision by police to announce the investigation's end and transfer the main findings to Bar-Lev without releasing the findings to the public.
"Under my guidance, police will investigate the conduct of forces on the ground."Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai
"A complex event"
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai instructed a month ago to conduct an investigation into the incident at the funeral following worldwide condemnations of the police conduct.
"The funeral procession of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was a complex event," Shabtai said, regarding the investigation. "It is impossible to remain indifferent to the hard images and we must investigate so that sensitive events such as these are not violently disturbed."
"Under my guidance, police will investigate the conduct of forces on the ground," he continued. "We will aim at improving the conduct of similar incidences in the future."
The investigation was conducted "with a clear understanding of the sensitivity and complexity of the incident," said Bar-Lev, N12 reported.
Videos of the incident at Akleh's funeral were quickly circulated on social media and received widespread condemnation from a number of leaders and organizations from around the world.
Meanwhile, two days after the clashes at the funeral, a video was apparently released from the security cameras of the French Hill hospital in Jerusalem, showing the police breaking into the hospital grounds before the journalist's funeral.