Israel police beat mourners at journalist funeral

May 14, 2022: According to a report by AFP, the U.S. and EU led an international outcry Saturday after Israel police charged the funeral procession in Jerusalem of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and beat pallbearers who almost dropped her coffin.

Thousands of people packed Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday for the burial of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist, two days after she was killed in an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank.

Television footage showed the pallbearers struggling to stop Abu Akleh’s coffin from falling to the ground as baton-wielding police officers charged towards them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.

The Jerusalem Red Crescent said 33 people were injured, of whom six were hospitalized. Israeli authorities said six arrests were made after mourners had thrown “rocks and glass bottles.”

Israel and the Palestinians traded blame for the death of Abu Akleh on Wednesday who was shot in the head during the Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp.

The Israeli army said an interim investigation could not determine who fired the fatal bullet, noting stray Palestinian gunfire or Israeli sniper fire aimed at militants were both possible causes.

But the Palestinian prosecutor’s office in the West Bank city of Ramallah said later the initial results of an investigation showed “the only origin of the shooting was the Israeli occupation forces.”

Al Jazeera has said Israel killed her “deliberately” and “in cold blood.”

As her body left St Joseph’s hospital in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, Israeli police stormed mourners who had hoisted Palestinian flags.

Police said about “300 rioters” had arrived at the hospital for the procession and “prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery — as had been planned and coordinated with the family in advance.”

The police then intervened “to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned.”

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