Israel is to conduct a ballistics test on the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Israeli army said Sunday, a day after the Palestinian Authority handed the bullet to U.S. experts.
Army spokesman Ran Kochav's comment on army radio came after the PA gave the green light for the Americans, but not the Israelis, to examine the bullet that killed Abu Akleh during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.
A Palestinian official, who requested anonymity, told AFP the Israeli comment raised questions about whether the PA could "trust the Americans."
Speaking to army radio, Kochav said: "The test won't be American, the test will be an Israeli test with an American presence.
"We are waiting for the results, if we killed her, we'll take responsibility for it, and will be sorry for it. We are also sorry when people that are not involved are killed by Palestinian gunmen," he also said.
Israel's army was not immediately available to provide further explanation of Kochav's remarks, including whether an Israeli ballistics test was already underway.
Palestinian sources in Ramallah have said they expected the test to be conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American, was wearing a vest marked "Press" and a helmet, was covering an Israeli army operation in the Jenin camp in the northern West Bank on May 11 when she was killed.
The official Palestinian investigation found that the Qatar-based television channel's star reporter was killed after being hit by a bullet just below her helmet.
It found that Abu Akleh was killed with a 5.56-mm armor-piercing round fired from a Ruger Mini-14 rifle.
Investigations by the United Nations, as well as several journalistic probes, have found that the shot that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli forces.
Despite those findings, Israel has maintained that she may have been hit by stray Palestinian gunfire.
The army has also said "that Ms. Abu Akleh was not intentionally shot by an IDF soldier."