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Shireen Abu Akleh’s brother denounces Israeli police’s violent actions at his funeral


The brother of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Monday called the Israeli police’s violent intervention at her funeral “unacceptable and unjustifiable”.

“They could have easily blocked the road if they didn’t want to see the funeral leave the hospital, but the attack was intentional and brutal,” Tony Abu Akleh told CNN.

Speaking at St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, where Friday’s funeral procession began, he said he spoke to Israeli police ahead of the event.

“The police called me and asked me to go to the police station and they wanted to know the route of the motorcade and the arrangements for the funeral. They asked us not to raise Palestinian flags, slogans or songs. They didn’t want to hear that,” Abu Akleh said.

“And they wanted to know the number of participants in the funeral procession. I told them I can’t promise you anything, I don’t have the numbers and I can’t control the crowd. These funerals are state funerals that anyone can attend. And that’s what we saw,” he added.

The hospital condemned “the violent intrusion of the Israeli police” in a statement released on Monday.

St. Joseph’s Hospital called the events a “serious violation of international norms and regulations”.

“We, the bishops and the faithful of the Christian Churches of the Holy Land, hereby condemn the violent intrusion of the Israeli police into a funeral procession of the slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as he was walking from the hospital Saint -Joseph at the Greek Hospital. -Melkite Cathedral Church,” the statement read.

“The Israeli police’s invasion and disproportionate use of force, attacking mourners, beating them with batons, using smoke grenades, firing rubber bullets, frightening hospital patients is a serious violation of international standards and regulations,” the statement added.

Shireen Abu Akleh’s brother denounces Israeli police’s violent actions at his funeral

“Police assaulted the sanctity of the hospital and funeral site and campus without consideration, knowing that St. Joseph’s Hospital is under the auspices of the Vatican and protected by the French government,” he added. .

In security camera footage shared by the hospital on Monday, more than a dozen police officers are seen entering the hospital building with batons drawn and moving aggressively through the hallways. CNN has contacted Israel Police for a response to the allegations from St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev told CNN on Saturday that police “acted to allow the funeral procession for journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to proceed in an orderly fashion, in coordination with her family and to leave. a clear understanding of the sensitivity and complexity of an event.

He added that “during the funeral, serious violent events took place on the part of the participants which aggravated the situation on the ground”.

Israeli authorities said they would investigate the incident, with police tweeting: “Israel Police stand by their officers, but as a professional organization that seeks to learn and improve, they will also learn from the ‘incident”.

Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead in Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian and Israeli authorities are separately investigating the murder. Al Jazeera accused Israel of intentionally killing the veteran journalist.

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