Israeli police attack attendees at journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral | Video


The Israeli police confronted this Friday the Palestinians who crowded around the coffin of the late Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aklehat the beginning of his funeral procession in Jerusalem.

Masked police officers confronted dozens of Palestinians waving flags and chanting in the grounds of the San Jose Hospital, in east Jerusalem annexed by Israel.

Images broadcast on television show the moment when the officers charged into the crowd and, at one point, the group carrying the coffin backed up against a wall and he was about to drop the coffinretrieving it just before one of its ends fell to the ground.

The violent scenes underlined growing anger over the killing of Abu Akleh, which has threatened to add fuel to the fire of a protracted conflict.

Abu Akleh, who had covered Palestinian and Middle East affairs for more than two decades, was shot while reporting on an Israeli raid in the West Bank busy Wednesday.

The Palestinian authorities described the death of Abu Akleh as an assassination by Israeli forces. The Israeli government initially suggested that she may have been killed by Palestinian gunfire, but officials also said they could not rule out that it was Israeli bullets that killed her.

On Friday, Israeli police said a group of Palestinians, whom they described as rioters, began throwing stones at the hospital compound. “The police were forced to act”, they added. There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian authorities.

A few minutes later, Abu Akleh’s coffin was placed in a vehicle that drove to the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, where the ceremony took place peacefully.

The Israeli army said Friday that its initial investigation “concluded that it is not possible to determine unequivocally the origin of the shots that hit and they killed Mrs. Abu Akleh.”

The investigation has raised two possibilities, the army said in a statement. The first, that Abu Akleh was hit by Palestinian militants who fired dozens of bullets at Israeli military vehicles, “which is also the address where Mrs. Abu Akleh was.”

Photo: Reuters

The second, that an Israeli soldier returning fire from a jeep towards a gunman accidentally hit her. The vehicle was about 200 meters from Abu Aklehaccording to the army.

Israeli forces resumed raids on the outskirts of Jenin on Friday, where Abu Akleh was killed. At least 13 people were injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The army said an Israeli police officer had been seriously injured in what it called anti-terrorist activity.

With information from Reuters and Aljazeera

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