US report on journalist's death unacceptable, family says

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US report on journalist's death unacceptable, family says

Shireen Abu Aqla's brother has heavily criticised a US report that concluded unintentional Israeli gunfire was likely to have been responsible for the Palestinian-American reporter's death.

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Tony Abu Aqla told the BBC the findings were "unacceptable" and insisted his sister was targeted by Israeli troops.

The Al Jazeera correspondent was shot in the head while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in May.

The US said the bullet was too damaged to tell where it had been fired from.

A top official in the Palestinian Authority, which has concluded that Abu Aqla was intentionally shot dead by an Israeli soldier, accused the US of trying to protect Israel.

Israel's prime minister expressed sorrow over Abu Aqla's "tragic" death and said an investigation by its own military had determined "conclusively that there was no intention to harm her".

Shireen Abu Aqla, who was 51, was one of the Middle East's most experienced and well-loved correspondents.

She was wearing a flak jacket marked with the word "Press" as well as a helmet when she was killed while walking down a road in the West Bank city of Jenin on 11 May, near where a gun-battle between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants had taken place. Another Palestinian journalist, Ali Samoudi, was wounded.

Mr Samoudi and other journalists with them said the gunfire came from Israeli troops stationed on the road. Several investigations by the media and one by the UN Human Rights Office also concluded that Israeli forces fired, or seemingly fired, the fatal shot.