After examining the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, U.S. officials have concluded that gunfire from Israeli military positions "was likely responsible" for her death, the State Department said Monday.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said "independent, third-party examiners" conducted an "extremely detailed forensic analysis" and "ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion" as to who fired the shot. It was concluded that Israeli gunfire was likely responsible for Abu Akleh's death after looking at both the Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian Authority investigations, Price said, adding there was "no reason to believe that this was intentional, but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad."
A prominent Palestinian-American correspondent with Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh was killed May 11 while covering an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Her crew and Palestinian witnesses said she was killed by Israeli troops, and there were no militants in the immediate area when she was shot, The Associated Press reports. Israel denied that Abu Akleh was targeted by Israeli troops, saying that she might have been hit by accident during a gunfire exchange with a Palestinian militant.