Biden Administration Says Israeli Gunfire ‘Likely’ Killed Journalist, But Investigation Inconclusive

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the Biden administration wasn’t able to come to a “clear conclusion” over the killing of a female Palestinian-American journalist, but that the investigation determined unintentional Israeli gunfire was “likely” responsible.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist working for Al Jazeera, died in May after being shot as she covered an Israeli military raid. Israel suggested Abu Akleh could have been accidentally shot by a member of their military or by Palestinian gunfire and denied accusations that she was intentionally targeted. (RELATED: Al Jazeera Accuses Israel Of Murdering Star Reporter In Military Raid)

Price said the analysis into her death was “extremely detailed” and included “forensic analysis” conducted by “independent, third-party examiners.” The investigation was “overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC),” he also noted.

Ultimately, the Biden administration was unable to “reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet” that killed her, Price wrote in his statement.

“Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion,” according to Price.

“In addition to the forensic and ballistic analysis, the USSC was granted full access to both Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian Authority (PA) investigations over the last several weeks,” Price noted. “By summarizing both investigations, the USSC concluded that gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. 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 on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel.”

The Biden administration’s inquiry came after Israeli and Palestine investigated the incident, according to Axios.