Bullet Too Damaged to Say Who Killed Palestinian American Journalist, U.S. Finds

JERUSALEM — The State Department said on Monday that it could not determine the origin of a bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian American journalist shot dead in the occupied West Bank in May, but concluded that gunfire from Israeli military positions was likely to blame.

The bullet was too badly damaged to draw a definitive conclusion about the gun it was fired from, according to a State Department statement, but shots fired from the position of the Israel Defense Forces were “likely responsible for the death.”

U.S. officials “found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an I.D.F.-led military operation,” the statement said.

Palestinian officials have maintained that Ms. Abu Akleh was intentionally killed by an Israeli soldier. The Israeli government had cast doubt on that, saying that she was hit by either an Israeli soldier or a Palestinian gunman.

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