Joe Biden’s Secretary of State issued a statement condemning Israeli forces for their attack hours earlier on the funeral procession of a Palestinian American journalist who was shot and killed this week.
“We are deeply disturbed by the footage of Israeli police interfering with the funeral procession of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Aqleh,” Antony Blinken said on his official Twitter account Lily. “Every family deserves to rest their loved ones with dignity and without hindrance.”
Blinken’s brief statement came after TV cameras captured police in Israel storming Abu Aqleh’s funeral procession, kicking and beating mourners with batons and throwing the pallbearers so unbalanced. that they dropped his coffin to the ground.
The show of force came after people bypassed roadblocks in occupied East Jerusalem to join the funeral procession of the slain Al Jazeera journalist. Mourners chanted “Palestine!”, sang the Palestinian national anthem and waved Palestinian flags before Israeli police cracked down on the procession, accusing participants of disturbing public order.
Israel prohibits the public display of Palestinian flags, even at rallies and demonstrations.
Abu Aqleh died after being shot in the head in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning. Her colleagues have since said she was killed in a burst of fire from Israeli forces on a small group of journalists covering a planned raid by the Israeli military.
The Israeli army offered its condolences for the death of Abu Aqleh but also maintained that its troops were returning fire at the scene and that the journalist may have been shot dead by Palestinian forces.
When she was killed, Abu Aqleh, 51, was wearing a helmet and body armor clearly marked “press”, according to video footage of her murder.