By Chris Gallagher
WASHINGTON, July 4 (Reuters) – Al Jazeera News Today Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was likely to have been killed by gunfire from Israeli positions but it was probably unintentional, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.
Independent investigators could not reach a definitive conclusion about the origin of the bullet that struck her, it said.
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, was killed on May 11 during an Israeli raid in the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank under circumstances that remain bitterly disputed.
Palestinian officials criticised the report and maintained she had been deliberately targeted.Israel denies this.
One of the most recognizable faces reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abu Akleh’s death triggered outrage across the world, particularly after police beat mourners at her funeral in Jerusalem.
The U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC), after summarizing investigations by both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Authority, concluded that gunfire from Israeli positions was likely to have been responsible for her death, the State Department said.
“The USSC found 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,” the State Department said in a statement.
In forensic analysis by third-party examiners overseen by the USSC, ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion as to its origin, the State Department said.