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Funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh: Israeli police charge the funeral procession


Thousands of Palestinians buried Friday in Jerusalem Shireen Abu Aklehone of their star journalists killed during an Israeli operation, during a funeral marred by a charge from the Israeli police at the start of the funeral procession.

What happened at the funeral?

Violence erupted Friday in the grounds of a hospital in Jerusalem at the exit of the coffin of the Palestinian journalist where the Israeli police dispersed a crowd waving Palestinian flags, according to AFP journalists on the spot and local media .

Footage broadcast by local television shows the coffin of Qatari television reporter Al Jazeera, killed Wednesday in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, nearly falling to the ground as Israeli police disperse the crowd.

Israeli forces broke into the grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian sector of the city occupied and annexed by the Jewish state.

“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 in a megaphone in the direction of the crowd, according to a video released by the police.

According to her, “hundreds of people” gathered at the hospital and stones were thrown at the police who were “forced to use riot dispersal means”.

“Brutal Israeli special forces attack Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral procession leaving St. Joseph’s Hospital”denounced on Twitter Hanane Achraouia former tenor of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

“Israel’s inhumanity is on full display”she said.

Shireen Abu Akleh’s coffin was finally transported to the Old City where a mass was celebrated in a church, before burial in a nearby cemetery.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 33 people were injured during the funeral, six of whom were hospitalized. Israeli police reported six arrests.

International reactions

The European Union

The EU said “appalled by the unnecessary level of force exerted by Israeli police throughout the funeral procession”. “Such disproportionate behavior only fuels tensions”according to her.

United States

The White House said “deeply troubled” by the images of the funeral of the Palestinian journalist who also had American nationality.

“We have all seen these images, they are deeply disturbing”said the spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “We deplore the intrusion into what should have been a peaceful procession”, she added.

“We asked for respect for the funeral procession, the loved ones of the deceased and the family in this sensitive context”continued Ms. Psaki, paying tribute to the “remarkable journalist” killed in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Unlike the European Union, the spokesperson for the United States executive refrained from denouncing the use of disproportionate force by the Israeli forces during the funeral.

“When we say they (these images) are disturbing, obviously we do not justify them”she just said.

France

The French representation in Jerusalem described as “deeply shocking” the “police brutality” at Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Qatar

“The occupying forces did not just kill Shireen (…) but they terrorized those who accompanied her to her final resting place”said a statement from the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Clashes in the Jenin region

In the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, clashes took place in the region of Jenin during new Israeli army operations. An Israeli soldier was killed while 13 Palestinians were injured, according to official sources.

It was in the Jenin refugee camp that the journalist for Al Jazeera, Qatar TV, was shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid. She wore a bulletproof vest marked “press” and a reporting helmet.

Israel, after saying that Shireen Abu Aklehhad “most likely” succumbed to Palestinian fire, then claimed not to rule out that the bullet was fired by his soldiers. The Palestinian Authority, Al Jazeera and the government of Qatar have accused the Israeli army of killing her.

“Goodbye Shireen

The death of Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked a wave of emotion in the Palestinian Territories, in the Arab world where his reports have been followed for more than two decades, in Europe and in the United States. Several calls for an investigation “transparent” were launched.

The Israeli authorities demand that the bullet be handed over to them in order to carry out a ballistic examination. They proposed that Palestinian and US experts be present during the review.

But the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas refused a joint investigation with Israel. “The Israeli authorities committed this crime and we do not trust them.”

Protests against the journalist’s death took place in several countries and in the Palestinian Territories.

On the roof of a building in the central square of Ramallah in West Bankthe huge billboard now displays a portrait of the journalist, accompanied by a sober message: “Goodbye Shireen, Goodbye Voice of Palestine”.

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