The US Department of State has said that independent investigators could “not reach a definitive conclusion” regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, but said Israeli military gunfire was “likely responsible” for her death.
“Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion,” the United States government said in a statement on Monday.
The US Security Coordinator, by summarising investigations by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, also said on Monday that the detailed forensic analysis showed no reason to believe that the shooting was intentional.
Abu Akleh was shot in the head on May 11 while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, despite wearing a flak jacket and helmet clearly marked “PRESS”.
Palestinian officials, international rights groups and media outlets carried out independent investigations that concluded that Abu Akleh was killed by the Israeli military.
The United Nations human rights office last month said that information it had gathered showed that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli forces. Several witnesses said Israeli forces killed the Jerusalem-born Palestinian-American journalist.