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PA: International groups can take part in the investigation into the journalist’s death, not Israel

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The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday that it would welcome the participation of international organizations in an investigation into the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, but that Israel would not be allowed to join the investigation.

“We welcome the participation of all international bodies in the investigation into the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, communicating with the specialized Palestinian public prosecutor’s office, which published its initial report yesterday,” said Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinian Authority’s Civil Affairs Office. Twitter.

There was no further explanation as to the degree of participation that would be allowed by any international organization.

Al-Sheikh said scenes of violence at Abu Akleh’s funeral on Friday had strengthened Palestinian officials’ belief that there should be no joint investigation with Israel.

“What happened in [Abu Akleh’s] “Yesterday’s funeral by the occupying forces reinforces our position by refusing Israel’s participation in this investigation,” Al-Sheikh wrote on Twitter.

Scenes of Israeli police rushing participants in Abu Akleh’s funeral, using force against Palestinians who were holding her coffin outside a Jerusalem hospital, and nearly knocking it down, drew a wide-ranging sentence on Friday.

Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Commissioner Hussein al-Sheikh. (WAFA)

Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead Wednesday morning as he covered clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.

While Israel has called for a joint investigation into the reporter’s death, the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected the request.

The White House has called for an immediate and thorough investigation into the death of Abu Akleh, who had US citizenship, while the UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned the killing and called for an investigation. immediate, complete, transparent and fair and just. impartial investigation.

Israel has told the United States it can not conclusively determine who fired the shot that killed Abu Akleh without examining the bullet removed from its neck, according to an Israeli television report on Friday.

Channel 12 News said the U.S. asked Israel for clarification on the ongoing investigation into Abu Akleh’s death. Israel reportedly responded by asking the US for help in this case, including obtaining the bullet from the Palestinian Authority for analysis.

The Israeli Defense Forces said earlier Friday that the Palestinians had turned down offers for them to be present and participate in the investigation along with a U.S. representative.

An interim report released by the IDF earlier Friday presented two possible scenarios as to who shot dead, an example of Palestinian terrorist shootings and Israeli sniper fire, neither of which Abu Akleh was deliberately targeted.

In the case of the Israeli sniper fire, the military said the investigation involved a soldier who used a weapon with a telescopic sight to shoot at a gunman through a crack in the armored vehicle where he was riding.

The gunman fired several shots in the direction of the IDF soldier and there is a possibility that the journalist was hit by the soldiers’ fire in the direction of [him]said in a statement from the IDF.

A masked Palestinian gunman fires an automatic weapon during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 13, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP)

According to Channel 12, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi held a closed-door meeting with several generals on Thursday – before the interim investigation report was released – to discuss the possibility that Abu Akleh had been hit by an Israeli bullet.

Two sources familiar with the discussion say that this possibility was identified as very likely, the network reported.

The report said some of the meeting participants considered it no less likely and perhaps more likely that she had been hit by a misguided IDF bullet than by indiscriminately fired Palestinian fire.

Kohavi reportedly said these were premature and speculative assessments and ordered more expert input and a reconstruction of events. During an operation in the Yenin area on Friday morning, troops also headed to the site where Abu Akleh was killed, in a bid to reconstruct the events.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi speaks from a military base in the West Bank on May 11, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF chief also said at Thursday’s meeting that we certainly think it is possible that she was hit by the IDF fire, but added that the examination of the bullet fired from Abu Akleh’s neck would give a final answer, the report said. television.

An IDF spokesman told Channel 12 in response that it could not currently conclusively determine the circumstances of the journalists’ deaths and that the military would continue to investigate and is committed to finding out the truth.

Palestinian prosecutors said Friday that, according to their initial investigation, only IDF troops could have fired the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.

Palestinian investigators had found new evidence and signs in a tree at the site of her death and determined that IDF troops were 150 meters (492 feet) away at the time of the incident, they said.

The bullet was transferred to the forensic laboratory, which will issue a detailed report on the matter, the report said.

The publication of the provisional findings came as the funeral of Abu Aklehs was being held in Jerusalem. Israeli police rushed to the mourners and beat them with sticks during the funeral, causing global outrage. Police said officers intervened after the “riots” seized the coffin from Abu Akleh’s family and that the marchers had thrown glass bottles and other objects at police.

Israeli police confront mourners as they hold the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in Jerusalem on May 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Maya Levin)

However, in a interview with the BBC on Friday, Abu Akleh’s brother, Tony, appeared to deny the Israeli Police version of events, saying the family and mourners hoped to hold a “small protest” but were “bombed” by officers as they exited from the hospital. He did not specify whether the planned cortege was on foot or by car.

The death of Abu Akleh, who covered the conflict in the Middle East for more than 25 years, sparked international condemnation.

The Qatari-owned Al Jazeera accused Israel of its deliberate killing and vowed to take legal action. Journalists who were with him said there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

Abu Akleh’s death came during a raid in Yenin, which has become the focus of Israel’s efforts to crack down on terror emanating from the West Bank.

Nineteen people have been killed in Palestinian attacks in recent weeks, with some of the terrorists coming from Yen and the surrounding area. IDF activity has killed more than 30 Palestinians – most but not all were involved in attacks or clashes with Israeli forces.

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