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According to US experts, its own experts examined the bullet that killed the Al Jazeera journalist

#experts #experts #examined #bullet #killed #Jazeera #journalist

The United States said Tuesday experts from its own team were investigating the bullet that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh after Palestinians complained that Israel was not directly blamed.

The State Department said on Monday that the prominent Al Jazeera journalist was likely shot dead from an Israeli position when she made conclusive findings on March 11.

The Palestinian Authority had reluctantly turned over the bullet to the United States and said it would not give it to Israel, fearing whitewashing. But on Monday, the Israeli army said in a statement that Israeli experts forensically analyzed the bullet at a laboratory in the Jewish state.

State Department spokesman Ned Price insisted the investigation was conducted by two members of the US Security Coordinator’s (USSC) team, which liaises with the Palestinian Authority when it comes to security assistance.

He didn’t identify the experts by name or nationality, noting that non-Americans were among the staff, but said they had “42 years of combined experience.”

“Local experts, whether they were Israeli or Palestinian, did not conduct the USSC investigation of the bullet,” Price said.

“The USSC had full custody of the bullet from the moment it was delivered to the USSC by the PA (Palestinian Authority) to the moment it was returned to the PA by the USSC,” he said.

Price said the United States sought accountability but was reluctant to recommend Israel pursue criminal charges. The Israel Defense Forces say they are still investigating the death.

“As a professional military force, the IDF … is in a position to consider steps to ensure something like this cannot happen again,” Price said.

Senior Palestinian officials accused the United States of covering up the truth, and the family of Abu Akleh – who held US citizenship – said it was “incredible” that the investigation could not determine whose gun fired the bullet.

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