The Israeli military ID gun that killed the journalist

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JERUSALEM – The Israeli military has identified a military rifle that could have killed Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh, but said it could not be confirmed unless the Palestinians returned the bullet for analysis, a military official said on Thursday.

The confirmation marks a small sign of progress in the investigation into the assassination of Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot on May 11 while covering an Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian officials, including journalists who were with Abu Akleh, said he had been killed by Israeli troops stationed nearby. The Israeli military says he was shot during a battle between soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, and it is not possible to determine who fired the shots without proper analysis.

Israel calls for joint investigation with Palestinians But the Palestinians, who have the bullets, have refused, saying they do not trust Israel. They said they were conducting their own investigation and were ready to cooperate with any country except Israel.

The military last week released the results of a preliminary investigation that suggested two possible causes of death. It says that in one scene, he may have been the victim of a Palestinian gunfight during a fierce gunfight with Israeli soldiers.

In the second scene, it says he may have been hit by an Israeli soldier who shot a Palestinian gunman with a “designated firing hole” in a military vehicle who was firing at the vehicle. It said it was not possible to determine the source of the fire without analyzing the bullets.

Asked for more details on Thursday, military officials confirmed that investigators were focusing on a specific weapon.

He emphasized that the source of the fire was not yet clear.

He said that if the Palestinians cooperated in the investigation, Israel would “hopefully be able to compare the bullets with those barrels and see if there was a match.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The Palestinians are conducting their own investigation. Last Friday, the Palestinian public prosecutor said that a preliminary investigation showed that Abu Akleh had been shot dead by Israeli forces. The prosecutor said the investigation would continue.

Bellingcat, an independent Dutch-based open-source research firm, has conducted its own analysis of material collected primarily from social media videos. It says its initial investigations are backed by Palestinian eyewitnesses who say he was shot dead by Israeli forces.

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American and a 25-year-old veteran of the Satellite Channel, was killed in the Jenin refugee camp in the North West Bank. He was a family name throughout the Arab world, known for documenting the hardships of Palestinian life under Israeli rule, now in its sixties.

There have been statements of condemnation and concern around the world over the shootings. Israel has also been widely criticized for the behavior of police, who beat mourners at its funeral last Friday, leaving the Palbars almost to throw away his coffin.

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