Thousands of Palestinians attend the funeral of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera TV journalist who was shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel since 1967. She wore a bullet-proof vest marked “press” and a reporter’s helmet.
As the coffin was released from St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian sector of the city also occupied by Israel, police entered the facility and charged into a crowd waving Palestinian flags.
The coffin almost fell from the hands of the bearers who were beaten by police armed with batons before being caught in extremis, according to images from local television.
“The Israeli Police Commissioner (…) has ordered an investigation into the incident. The findings will be presented to the commissioner in the coming days,” police said in a statement.
She reiterated that the police “had been exposed to the violence of the rioters, which caused them to use force”.
Images of the police charge circulating on social media have caused an international outcry.
“We were deeply disturbed by the footage of Israeli police intruding on the funeral procession,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights man, Michelle Bachelet, spoke of the “shocking” images.
The European Union condemned “the disproportionate use of force and the disrespectful behavior of the Israeli police”.
The French representation in Jerusalem deemed the “police violence” “deeply shocking”, and Spain denounced as “unacceptable” the “disproportionate use of force”. Germany said it regretted that the funeral could not be held “with peace and dignity”.
“The occupation forces did not just kill Shireen (…) but they terrorized those who accompanied her to her final resting place”, denounced Qatar.
“If you don’t stop these nationalist chants, we will have to disperse you using force and we will prevent the funeral from taking place,” an Israeli policeman said through a megaphone to the crowd at the compound. hospital on Friday, according to police video.
She accused the crowd of Palestinians of having “thrown glass bottles and other objects” at the police.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported 33 injuries and the Israeli police six arrests.
The crowd of Palestinians was then able to accompany the coffin to a church in the Old City where a mass was celebrated, then to the cemetery.
“The murder” of the 51-year-old journalist was unanimously condemned by the UN Security Council, which called for “a transparent and impartial investigation”.
Questions about the origin of the shot
The Palestinian Authority, Qatar’s Al Jazeera television and the Qatari government accused the Israeli army of killing the journalist.
Israel, after claiming that she had “probably” succumbed to Palestinian fire, then said it did not rule out that the bullet was fired by its soldiers.
According to “the first results” of the investigation by the Palestinian prosecutor in Ramallah, “the only origin of the shooting is the occupying forces”.
Before him, the Israeli army indicated that it was not possible to immediately determine the origin of the shooting.
Israel demanded that the bullet be given to it for ballistic examination, and proposed that Palestinian and American experts be present during this examination.
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused a joint investigation with Israel. “We don’t trust them,” he said.
Mahmoud Abbas also held a ceremony this Saturday during which he posthumously presented a medal to Shireen Abou Akleh.
This Saturday, Hussein al-Sheikh, a tenor from the Palestinian Authority, said on Twitter “welcome the participation of all international organizations in the investigation into the assassination” of the journalist.
In recent months, the Israeli army has launched several operations to search for Palestinian suspects in the Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold of the Palestinian armed factions from which the perpetrators of deadly attacks in Israel originated.
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