Veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead last month in the West Bank while covering Israeli raids.
An investigation by Al Jazeera has obtained an image of the bullet used to kill the network’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The round was extracted from her head.
The photograph for the first time shows the type of ammunition used to kill the veteran Al Jazeera journalist in the occupied West Bank last month.
According to ballistic and forensic experts, the green-tipped bullet was designed to pierce armour and is used in a M4 rifle.
The green-tipped bullet was analysed using 3D models and according experts the round fired was 5.56mm calibre – the same used by Israeli forces. The bullet was designed and manufactured in the United States, experts said.
Palestinian assistant minister Ammar Hijazi told Al Jazeera the bullet will remain with the Palestinian government for further investigation.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Omar Shakir – Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch – said all evidence indicates the shot came from an Israeli soldier.
In what appeared to be an unprovoked assault at the Al Jazeera correspondent’s funeral days later, Israeli officers attacked pallbearers, which almost caused them to drop Abu Akleh’s coffin – an incident broadcast live that caused international outrage.
Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was killed last month while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin.
‘Trigger happy policies’
Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest and standing with other journalists when she was killed.
Sherif Mansour, MENA programme coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Al Jazeera from Washington, DC that “the pattern” of killing Palestinian media workers “is well known”.
“We have documented at least 19 journalists who were killed by Israeli fire, some of them in the Gaza wars in vehicles marked as press in 2012 and 2014,” Mansour said.
“Some of them were also killed by Israeli snipers while wearing vests with press signs, away from any threatening situation, two of them in 2018. Clearly we have a problem here of trigger happy policies that allows this to continue.”
Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said for Palestinians their version of events is being “confirmed by so many investigations”, including the latest one by Al Jazeera.
“Palestinians have been saying from day one that they know that the bullet that hit Shireen came from Israeli soldiers. The witnesses, the videos that we’ve seen from Palestinians who were there, show there were no Palestinian fighters around the area where Shireen was in,” Ibrahim said.
“Palestinians are seeking now is justice and accountability.”
A dual Palestinian-American national, Abu Akleh was one of Al Jazeera’s first field correspondents, joining the network in 1997.
Ori Givati, a former Israeli soldier now with the advocacy group Breaking the Silence, said the round that was analysed was a “very common bullet”.
“It is the bullet that most [Israeli] soldiers use during their service. This investigation into Shireen’s killing is extremely important, but we also have to remember these incidents happen on a weekly basis,” he told Al Jazeera.