Artist Jaber Abbas, 35 years old, applies final touches to a mural that he painted to pay tribute to Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, in Nazareth, Israel May 16, 2022.
Artist Jaber Abbas, 35 years old, applies final touches to a mural that he painted to pay tribute to Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, in Nazareth, Israel May 16, 2022. Reuters / AMMAR AWAD

The Palestinian Authority's attorney general said on Thursday that its investigation proves an Israeli soldier shot Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the head in a targeted killing.

The bullet that killed Abu Akleh is a 5.56 mm round with a steel component, which according to NATO criteria is armour-piercing ammunition, said Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib.

The bullet had "general and specific markings that match" a Mini Ruger semi-automatic sniper weapon, Al-Khatib said at a briefing for reporters.

Speaking at a military graduation ceremony on Thursday, Israel's military Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi responded to the Palestinian investigation. He said it remains impossible to determine who fired the fatal shot "until we get to the bottom of things".

"There is one thing we can definitively say: No Israeli soldier intentionally fired at the journalist," he said.

During Thursday's briefing, Al-Khatib said the PA will not hand the bullet over to Israel, which has suggested a joint investigation with the Palestinians into the killing.

Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on May 11. She was wearing a helmet and a press vest that marked her as a journalist, videos showed.

Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of killing the prominent Palestinian American journalist.

Several witnesses said the same, adding that there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area of the shooting. Israeli army officials said she may have been shot accidentally by one of its soldiers or by a Palestinian militant in a shootout.

A copy of the Palestinian Authority report was shared with the U.S. administration and will also be provided to Abu Akleh's family and Al Jazeera, senior Palestinian official Hussein Al-Sheikh said.

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