WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have concluded that the bullet that killed veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was likely fired from an Israeli position. But they say it is too badly damaged to reach an absolute determination, and that there is “no reason to believe” she was deliberately targeted.
State Department spokesman Ned Price, announcing the results of the probe on Monday, said “independent, third-party examiners” had undertaken an “extremely detailed forensic analysis” of the bullet that killed her.
Abu Akleh was shot dead during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in May. Her crew said there were no militants in the area when she was shot, according to CBS News.
The Palestinian Authority handed over the bullet to U.S. investigators but is opposed to any Israeli role in the investigation.
In response to the announcement from the U.S. on Monday, the Israel Defense Force reportedly released a statement that said a source of the bullet could not be determined but added that "no IDF soldier deliberately fired" at the journalist.
"The IDF regrets harm to non-combatants, including during an exchange of fire or active combat zones, and is fully committed to protecting the sanctity of human life and the protection of the freedom of the press," the statement said.