November 28, 2023

Jerusalem (AFP) – The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday it had handed over the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Okla to US forensic experts, taking a step toward resolving the standoff with Israel over the investigation into her killing.

The announcement came a week before President Joe Biden is to visit Israel and the occupied West Bank for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He indicated that the two sides might work to find a solution to the impasse.

Abu Okla was a veteran reporter a favour Throughout the Arab world, he was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military raid on May 11 in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians and Abu Uqla colleagues who were with her at that time say: She was martyred by the occupation’s fire. The Israeli army says she was caught in the crossfire of a battle with Palestinian militants, and that it is impossible to determine which side killed her without analyzing the bullet.

Israel says so I set the gun This may have shot her, but no conclusions can be drawn unless it is compared to the bullet. The Palestinians refused to turn the bullet, saying they did not trust Israel. Rights groups say Israel has a poor record of investigating the shootings of Palestinians by its forces, with investigations continuing for months or years before they can be done. quietly closed.

Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said the bullet was given to American experts for “technical work.”

He reiterated the Palestinians’ refusal to share the bullet with the Israelis, but said the Palestinians would welcome the participation of any international bodies “to help us confirm the truth.”

“We are confident and sure of our investigations and our findings,” he said.

It was not immediately clear what American experts could discover without studying Israeli weapons. It was also not clear whether Israel would hand the guns to the Americans. The Israeli military declined to comment, and the US embassy’s office of Palestinian affairs said it had “no new information to provide.”

A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a diplomatic issue, said the issue was raised in a phone call between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken and that both sides hoped to resolve the issue before Biden’s arrival on July 13.

a nap Reconstruction of events She provided support for eyewitnesses who said she was shot by Israeli forces. But a weapons expert interviewed by the Associated Press as part of the reconstruction said it was impossible to reach a conclusive conclusion without further forensic analysis. Israeli commanders have repeatedly said that the soldiers did not deliberately target it.

Abu Okla, 51, was a widely known and respected television reporter, who rose to fame two decades ago during the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule. She has documented the harsh realities of life under Israeli military rule – so far in its sixth decade with no end in sight – for viewers across the Arab world.

Israeli police sparked widespread criticism from around the world when they beat mourners and coffin bearers at her funeral in Jerusalem on May 14. An Israeli newspaper reported last month that a police investigation I found a violation by some of her officers, but said that those who oversaw the event would not be severely punished.

Jenin has long been a stronghold of Palestinian militants, and several recent attacks inside Israel have been carried out by young men in and around the city. Israel frequently launches military raids in Jenin, which it says are aimed at arresting militants and preventing further attacks.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and built settlements where nearly 500,000 Israelis live alongside nearly 3 million Palestinians. The Palestinians want the area to be the main part of the future state. Peace talks collapsed more than a decade ago, and with Israel now entering a new election campaign, they are unlikely to resume any time soon. Interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid supports a two-state solution with the Palestinians, but right-wing parties that oppose Palestinian statehood appear to be in a position to dominate the elections.

Associated Press writer Fares Akram contributed to this report in Gaza City, Gaza Strip.

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