Israeli Police Assault Mourners at Shireen Abu Akleh’s Funeral: Newest Updates

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JERUSALEM — Israeli law enforcement officials on Friday assaulted mourners on the funeral procession of a distinguished Palestinian American journalist killed this week within the occupied West Financial institution, forcing pallbearers to just about drop the coffin.

Video showed law enforcement officials in Jerusalem beating and kicking pallbearers carrying the coffin that contained the physique of the journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, hanging different mourners with batons, and forcing one man to the bottom. Throughout the commotion, the pallbearers had been pushed backward, inflicting them to briefly lose management of 1 finish of the coffin.

The incident occurred exterior a hospital in East Jerusalem, the place mourners had gathered to take the coffin of Ms. Abu Akleh, who was a Christian, to a close-by church for her funeral.

It was one among a number of spasms of pressure throughout a fraught afternoon, as riot police in a number of areas in East Jerusalem confronted off in opposition to crowds of mourners waving Palestinian flags and chanting Palestinian slogans. Israel considers East Jerusalem a part of its capital, however it’s predominantly populated by Palestinians, and far of the worldwide group considers it occupied territory.

The incident on the funeral procession lasted for roughly a minute, and adopted a tense standoff between riot police and mourners through which not less than one empty plastic bottle was thrown within the course of the police.

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The police then immediately superior on the coffin, swinging batons and aiming kicks on the mourners. Because the police superior, mourners threw projectiles, together with what gave the impression to be a stick, and officers threw what gave the impression to be stun and smoke grenades.

In a press release, the Israeli police mentioned they “took enforcement motion” after some mourners started chanting “nationalist incitement” and after officers had given the gang a warning. Because the coffin was carried out of the hospital, police mentioned, they had been “pressured to behave” as a result of “rioters started throwing stones towards the policemen.”

The police later distributed video displaying an empty plastic bottle and two different bottle-shaped objects being thrown within the course of the officers within the moments earlier than they superior on the pallbearers, and separate undated video displaying a number of stones on the bottom. There was no clear indication of when or how the stones had reached that spot.

Ms. Abu Akleh was shot useless on Wednesday morning within the occupied West Financial institution throughout an Israeli raid on town of Jenin. Witnesses mentioned she was killed by an Israeli soldier.

The Israeli Military mentioned on Friday that whereas it was potential Ms. Abu Akleh was mistakenly killed by Israeli fireplace, its preliminary investigation advised that she may additionally have been hit by a Palestinian gunman.

On Thursday, Israeli police warned Ms. Abu Akleh’s household about displaying “flags and slogans” on the funeral, mentioned Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

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At one level through the funeral a person holding up a wreath stood between the pallbearers and police. Later, because the black hearse carrying her coffin started to slowly make its means by the gang, an Israeli police officer ripped three Palestinian flags off the car and threw them to the bottom, video confirmed.

Church bells all through the Outdated Metropolis rang out as mourners chanted, “With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice for you, Shireen.”

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel declined to remark, as did a spokesman for the Israeli public safety minister, Omer Bar Lev, who oversees the police.

The funeral was attended by 1000’s of individuals and got here a day after a state memorial service was held within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah. Mourners stood within the courtyard of the Palestinian Authority’s presidential headquarters to eulogize and bid farewell to an individual thought of by many Palestinians to be a trailblazing journalist.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, awarded her the Star of Jerusalem, often known as the Quds Star. One of many highest honors the Palestinian president can bestow, it’s historically awarded to ministers, ambassadors and members of Parliament. Mr. Abbas described Ms. Abu Akleh as a “martyr for fact and for the free phrase.”

She was later taken to be buried in Mount Zion Protestant Cemetery, subsequent to her dad and mom.

Hiba Yazbek contributed reporting from Nazareth, Israel, and Iyad Abu Hweila from Gaza Metropolis.

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