RAMALLAH (Reuters/Anadolu) – The Zionist regime said on Sunday it would test a bullet that killed a Palestinian journalist to determine whether one of its troops shot her and said a U.S. observer would be present for the procedure that could deliver results within hours.
The Palestinians, who on Saturday handed over the bullet to a U.S. security coordinator, said they had been assured that the Zionist regime would not take part in the ballistics.
“The relevant parties in the state of Palestine agreed to allow the U.S. side to conduct ballistic works on the bullet. It was handed over to them,” Akram al-Khatib, general prosecutor for the PA, said in a statement published by Palestine’s official Wafa news agency on Saturday.
Washington has yet to comment. The United States has a holiday weekend to mark July 4.
The May 11 death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh during a Zionist raid in the occupied West Bank, and feuding between the sides as to the circumstances, have overshadowed a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden due this month.
The Palestinians accuse the occupying regime’s military of killing her deliberately.
Elsewhere, in an interview with the U.S. media, Khatib said “we will not hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh to the occupation, and we have agreed that the Americans will conduct a forensic examination of the bullet.”
Stressing that the bullet will be examined at the U.S. Embassy in Al-Quds, Khatib said the Palestinians have received “guarantees” from the U.S. that the bullet “would not be delivered to Israel.”
Palestinian officials as well as many rights groups and media outlets have reached the conclusion that the veteran journalist Abu Akleh was killed by the Zionist regime’s military.
The United Nations human rights office last month said that information it had gathered indicated that the bullet had been fired by the occupation troops.
Zionist officials, including prime minister Naftali Bennett, initially claimed that Palestinian gunmen could have killed Abu Akleh. However, the regime later backtracked and said it could not rule out the possibility that a Zionist trooper had fired the shot.
In video footage from the incident circulated widely online, Abu Akleh could be seen wearing a blue flak jacket marked with the word “PRESS” when being shot by Zionist troops, exposing the gruesome nature of the daylight murder.
Eyewitnesses and journalists who were with Abu Akleh on the day she was shot also described the shooting as a “deliberate attempt” to kill journalists.
Meanwhile, an Arab NGO has documented 44 rights violations by the occupying regime against Palestinian journalists in the occupied territories during the month of June.
In a statement on Sunday, the Journalists Support Committee said Zionist troops deliberately assassinated female journalist Ghufran Warasnah, 31, in the city of Al-Khalil last month.
The Beirut-based NGO added that 17 journalists working for local, Arab and international media agencies were injured in attacks by the troops and settlers in June.
According to the NGO, the violations varied from verbal and physical assaults, shooting using live or rubber-coated bullets to using pepper gas spray.