Palestinians urge Israel to hand over gun in Abu Akleh case

i24NEWS - AFP

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Ceremony in memory of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Ramallah, West Bank, June 19, 2022.
ABBAS MOMANI / AFPCeremony in memory of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Ramallah, West Bank, June 19, 2022.

'We have refused to hand over the bullet,' says Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday called on Israel to hand over the weapon believed to be responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh at a ceremony in her memory.

Palestinian officials held a series of tributes on Sunday to mark the 40th day of mourning since Shireen Abu Akleh's death on May 11, shot dead in the Palestinian camp of Jenin, where Israeli soldiers were conducting an operation that morning.

The Palestinian Authority, Al Jazeera and Qatar accused the Israeli army of killing the journalist. At the same time, the Palestinian prosecutor concluded that the journalist was shot by an Israeli soldier using a Ruger Mini-14, a semi-automatic weapon.

In recent weeks, journalistic investigations have also pointed to the Israeli army. On Thursday, Al Jazeera broadcast a photo of the bullet that killed its reporter and interviewed experts who explained that Israel used this type of bullet.

After claiming that Abu Akleh "probably" died from Palestinian gunfire, Israel said it could not rule out the possibility that it could also have been an accidental shooting by Israeli soldiers.

To determine the exact circumstances of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, Israel is asking the Palestinian Authority to hand over the fatal bullet to the journalist, which Ramallah has so far refused to do. 

This request from Jerusalem, which wants to expand its investigation into the dramatic incident, was reiterated Friday. 

"We have refused to hand over the bullet, and we even demand that they hand over the weapon that killed Shireen Abu Akleh," said Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Sunday at a ceremony in honor of the journalist in Ramallah.

The question "is no longer the identity of the killer," said Walid Al-Omari, director of Al Jazeera in the Palestinian Territories, accusing the Israeli army of killing the journalist. 

"We only want justice for Shireen," said Anton Abu Akleh, the journalist's brother, at the ceremony.

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