The niece of deceased Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh said on Wednesday that Washington’s top diplomat had told her that the United States would not conduct an independent probe into the killing of the Palestinian-American correspondent, the Associated Press reported.

Lina Abu Akleh said that during her meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, he also declined to provide additional information about how the United States determined that Shireen, who was shot dead on May 11 during clashes between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli forces in Jenin, was not intentionally targeted.

Nearly two months after her death, Palestinian authorities handed over what they said was the lethal bullet to the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) Lt. Gen. Michael Fenzel for forensic testing. The U.S. State Department later released a statement saying that the bullet was too badly damaged to yield conclusive results.

“After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator, could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” said the statement.

However, while the IDF noted that its own internal investigation had found that there was insufficient information to determine the source of the fire that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, the USSC concluded that “gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible” for her death.

“The USSC found no reason to believe that this was intentional,” the statement continued, “but rather [that it was] 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.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Blinken’s meeting with members of the Abu Akleh family was meant to express a “message of condolence … and a message of the priority we attach to accountability going forward.”


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