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HomeEconomyViolence at journalist's funeral in Jerusalem 'extremely disturbing': W. House MPNRC...
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Violence at journalist’s funeral in Jerusalem ‘extremely disturbing’: W. House MPNRC News

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Violence at journalist’s funeral in Jerusalem ‘extremely disturbing’: W. House

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The White House on Friday described as “deeply disturbing” footage from the Jerusalem funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Aqleh, which showed Israeli police at the beginning of the procession.

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“We’ve all seen those images, they’re obviously very disturbing,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

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“We regret that a peaceful procession should have been infiltrated,” he said.

Thousands mourn for Al Jazeera journalist

Thousands packed Jerusalem’s tense old city on Friday for the burial of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Aqleh, after Israeli police began a funeral procession.

Television footage showed pallbearers fighting to stop Abu Aqleh’s coffin from falling to the ground as police officers charged them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.

The European Union said it was “shocked” by the “unnecessary force” used by police before and during the funeral.

The Jerusalem Red Crescent said 33 people were injured during the procession, six of whom were hospitalised.

Israeli police said they had made six arrests. A government official said mourners had thrown “rocks and glass bottles”.

In the occupied West Bank, an Israeli commando is killed during a fresh gunfight with Palestinian gunmen near the Flashpoint town of Jenin. The Islamic Jihad group said its fighters were responsible.

Israel and the Palestinians have traded blame over the fatal shooting of Abu Akleh during an Israeli raid in Jenin on Wednesday.

The Israeli military said an interim investigation could not determine who fired the fatal shot, noting that Palestinian shelling or Israeli sniper fire aimed at terrorists were both possible causes.

Al Jazeera has said that Israel killed him “intentionally” and “in cold blood”.

Abu Akleh, a Christian and a Palestinian-American, was a highly respected reporter and there was a huge crowd at his funeral in his native Jerusalem.

As his body left St Joseph’s Hospital in Israel-affiliated East Jerusalem, Israeli police stormed a crowd hoisting Palestinian flags.

The Jewish state forbids the public display of the Palestinian flag and regularly intervenes against those who parade them at demonstrations or other gatherings.


Police said they had warned the crowd to stop singing “nationalist” songs and were “forced to act as violent rioters (were) trying to disrupt the proper course of the funeral.” ”

But prominent Palestinian figure Hanan Ashrawi said the police’s allegations against pallbearers showed Israel’s “inhumanity”.

The European Union tweeted that it was “shocked by the violence on the St Joseph’s Hospital complex and the level of unnecessary force exerted by Israeli police during funeral processions.”

The French consulate general said the “police violence” at the hospital was “deeply shocking”.

In Qatar, where Al Jazeera is located, the foreign ministry said: “The occupation forces were not satisfied with killing Shirin … they also terrorized those who accompanied him to his final resting place.”

Thousands of Palestinian mourners tried to chase the coffin towards the cemetery just outside the old city.

AFP journalists said police briefly attempted to block the crowd from passing through the iconic Jaffa Gate, but eventually relented, causing thousands to flow toward the tomb, and did not intervene as Palestinian flags were waved were.

‘Sister of all Palestinians’

In a sign of the prominence of Abu Akleh, he was described as a full state memorial service on Thursday at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s compound in Ramallah before being transferred to Jerusalem.

“His voice permeates every home, and his loss is a wound in our hearts,” said the bereaved Hadil Hamdan.

The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have backed calls for a full investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh.

Israel has publicly called for a joint investigation and stressed the need for the Palestinian authorities to hand over the deadly bullet for forensic examination, but the Palestinian Authority has rejected a joint investigation with Israel.

PA official Hussein al-Sheikh said the Palestinian “investigation will be completed independently”.

Grief over his killing spread beyond the Palestinian territories, sparking protests in Turkey, Sudan and elsewhere.

She was “the sister of all Palestinians,” her brother Anton Abu Akle told AFP.

fresh violence

Fresh violence erupted in the West Bank, including raids and clashes around the Jenin refugee camp.

The slain Israeli official has been identified as Noam Raz, 47, a 47-year-old father of six children. Police said he was injured “during a gunfight with armed terrorists” and later died.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said 13 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, one of whom was in critical condition.

An AFP photographer said Israeli forces had surrounded a suspect’s house, surrounded two men from inside and fired anti-tank grenades at the house in an attempt to pull them out.

Tensions were already running high after a wave of anti-Israeli attacks that have killed at least 18 people since March 22, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.

A total of 31 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have died during the same period, according to an AFP tally, including attacks and casualties by Israeli security forces in West Bank operations.

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