Shireen Abu Aqleh
Shireen Abu Aqleh צילום: רויטרס

Israel vowed Sunday to conduct its own independent forensic examinations of the bullet which killed an Arab American journalist during a firefight between terrorists and IDF soldiers in Jenin this May – despite objections from the Palestinian Authority.

On Saturday, the PA transferred the bullet it claims fatally wounded 51-year-old Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh in the head to the US mission in Israel for examination.

PA general prosecutor Akram al-Khatib said ahead of the transfer that Ramallah had received “guarantees” from the US that the bullet would be examined by American officials only, and would not be submitted to Israeli investigators. Al-Khatib said the bullet would be tested at the US embassy.

But IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav told Galei Tzahal Sunday that the bullet would undergo Israeli forensics tests.

"The test will not be American. The test will be an Israeli test, with an American presence throughout.”

Kochav also hinted that in transferring the bullet to US officials, the PA had given tacit agreement for Israel to examine the bullet.

“The bullet was handed over to the Americans and will undergo a professional Israeli test in their presence. This is an IDF check, an IDF interrogation in an American presence, an Israeli interrogation.”

“The Palestinians agreed to hand over the bullet to the Americans in order for an Israeli investigation to be conducted in their presence.”

A day earlier, however, al-Khatib declared explicitly that Israel would not have access to the bullet.

“Approval has been given for the American side to conduct a forensic examination of the bullet that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The bullet will not be turned over to Israel.”

Reuters reported Monday that a US Embassy spokesperson was unable to clarify the conflicting claims, saying: "We don't have anything new at this time."