Israeli police beat mourners at funeral of slain Palestinian journalist

JERUSALEM: Israeli law enforcement officials charged at Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday, earlier than hundreds led her casket by way of Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis in an outpouring of grief and anger over her killing.
Packed round Abu Akleh’s coffin, dozens of Palestinians, some waving Palestinian flags and chanting, “with our soul and blood we’ll redeem you Shireen,” started strolling towards the gates of St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Israeli law enforcement officials, in an obvious bid to cease them continuing by foot quite than taking the coffin by automobile, burst by way of the courtyard gates and charged on the crowd, some beating pallbearers with batons and kicking them.
At one level the group carrying her coffin backed in opposition to a wall and virtually dropped the casket, recovering it simply earlier than one finish hit the bottom as stun grenades detonated.
The violent scenes, which lasted solely minutes, added to Palestinian outrage over Abu Akleh’s killing, which has threatened to gasoline violence that has surged since March.
Abu Akleh, who had coated Palestinian affairs and the Center East for greater than 20 years, was shot whereas reporting on an Israeli raid within the occupied West Financial institution on Wednesday.
Palestinian authorities have described Abu Akleh’s killing as an assassination by Israeli forces. Israel’s authorities initially advised Palestinian hearth might need been in charge, however officers have additionally mentioned they may not rule out it was Israeli gunfire that killed her.
Israeli police mentioned a gaggle of Palestinians outdoors the hospital, whom they described as rioters, had begun throwing stones at officers.
“The policemen had been pressured to behave,” they added.
The White Home discovered the pictures disturbing, press secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters, and U.S. officers will stay in shut contact with Israeli and Palestinian authorities within the aftermath of Akleh’s funeral.
“Each household deserves to have the ability to lay their family members to relaxation in a dignified and unimpeded method,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned.
Egypt, Qatar and Al Jazeera condemned the police’s conduct. Deputy U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq mentioned the scenes had been “very surprising” and the EU mentioned it was appalled.
A couple of minutes after police intervened, Abu Akleh’s coffin was positioned in a automobile that headed towards the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin in Jerusalem’s Walled Previous Metropolis, the place the funeral ceremony proceeded peacefully.
Crowds of Palestinians lined the slender alleyways of the Previous Metropolis because the coffin was carried to the Mount Zion Cemetery close by.
Her grave was coated in wreaths and the Palestinian flag draped over the grave cross as mourners surrounded it solemnly, paying tribute to Abu Akleh.
“We’re right here as a result of we’re screaming for justice. Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh and justice for Palestine,” mentioned one mourner, who didn’t need to be recognized by title.
Investigations and raids
The Israeli navy mentioned on Friday that its preliminary investigation “concluded that it’s not attainable to unequivocally decide the supply of the gunfire which hit and killed Ms. Abu Akleh.”
She might have been killed by photographs fired by Palestinian militants capturing at Israeli navy autos or been hit inadvertently by an Israeli soldier returning hearth, it mentioned.
The Palestinian Lawyer Common’s workplace issued an announcement on Friday during which it mentioned preliminary investigations have discovered that the only real supply of gunfire within the space the place Abu Akleh was harm was Israeli.
In an announcement, agreed by consensus on Friday, the 15-member U.N. Safety Council strongly condemned the killing and known as for an “instant, thorough, clear, and honest and neutral investigation.”
Israeli forces on Friday resumed raids on the outskirts of Jenin, the place Abu Akleh was killed, and the Palestinian Well being Ministry mentioned 13 Palestinians had been wounded.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in the meantime claimed duty for the loss of life of an Israeli police officer in an alternate of gunfire in Jenin.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, mentioned occasions in Jerusalem and Jenin may push the perimeters into critical escalation.
Abu Akleh’s loss of life has drawn widespread condemnation. Video footage from the moments after she was shot confirmed Abu Akleh, 51, carrying a blue vest marked “Press”.
Not less than two of her colleagues who had been together with her mentioned that they’d come beneath Israeli sniper hearth and that they weren’t near militants.
Israel, which has voiced remorse at Abu Akleh’s loss of life, has proposed a joint investigation with the Palestinians, asking them to supply the bullet for examination.
The Palestinians have rejected the Israeli request and have known as for a global investigation.
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