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Israeli security forces attack mourners at Al Jazeera journalist's funeral causing them to almost drop coffin

Israeli police used tear gas to try and arrest mourners at the Jerusalem funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh (Al Jazeera journalist), who was killed while covering a raid.

51-year-old Ms. Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli raid on the city of Jenin when she was hit in the head while wearing a press vest.

Tear gas was used to extinguish the flames outside the hospital in east Jerusalem where her body was being kept. A shrine was also destroyed.

One hour later, Israeli officers arrested mourners who were chanting outside of the Catholic church in Jerusalem’s old city.


On Thursday, thousands gathered to remember her. Her body was then carried by the crowds in a coffin with a bulletproof vest.

Israeli police attacked the pallbearers at one point, causing the coffin slip and almost to fall to the ground.

Image Shireen Ab Akleh was covering an attack in Jenin for Al Jazeera and was then shot

Images showing Israeli police officers charging at mourners carrying Ms Abu Akleh’s coffin were shown by the White House.

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Jen Psaki, US press secretary, stated that US officials will remain in close contact after the funeral with Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

The preliminary findings of their investigation into the murder were released by the IDF shortly before the funeral began.

Although it’s not possible to identify who fired the bullet that killed the journalist in the report, they acknowledge it could have been an IDF soldier.

These findings will not make a difference to the thousands of people who gathered in Jerusalem to bury her. Palestinians were murdered, and they have lost a voice that had spent decades covering events in the West Bank.

The situation is still very tension.

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Burial service to Al Jazeera journalist

Reporters who were present with Ms Abu Akleh at her death, one of whom was wounded and another who was shot, stated that there were no militants or clashes in the immediate vicinity.

They all wore protective gear that clearly identified them both as reporters.

Image: Israeli police wearing riot gear confront journalists and mourners covering the transfer of Shireen Abu Akleh, Al Jazeera journalist, to her body. Pic by AP
Image: Palestinian medics help a grieving person who was injured when Israeli police confronted her and others who were gathered to transfer her body. Pic by AP

Israel requested a joint investigation by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and that the bullet be handed over for forensic analysis in order to determine who fired it.

The PA refused to comply, stating that it would conduct its own investigation and submit the results to International Criminal Court. This court is currently investigating possible Israeli war crimes.

Ms. Abu Akleh was an American-Palestinian reporter who covered the Middle East conflict over more than 25 years.

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Thursday’s funeral procession of Al Jazeera reporter took place in Jenin

In 1997, she joined Al Jazeera’s Arabic language service and quickly rose to prominence during the second Palestinian intifada (or uprising against Israeli control) in the 2000s.

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Two videos that show the death of a journalist

Israeli PM Naftali Bennet reacts to the murder of Al Jazeera journalist

In recent days, there has been a flood of grief across the Arab world and in the Palestinian territories.

Al Jazeera, Qatar-based, had previously stated that Ahmad Alyafei would travel to Jerusalem as its managing director to attend the funeral.

The shadow foreign secretary of the Liberal Democrats and spokesperson for foreign affairs in the UK said that the murderers must be held accountable.


Israel was already under international scrutiny after the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist; scenes of Israeli police brutally attacking mourners and pallbearers at Shireen’s funeral were broadcast live and viewed by many around the globe.

We saw undercover officers running into the crowds to arrest Palestinians in front of us. I didn’t see any reason or provocation for this.

The police had previously asked that the Palestinian flag be not waved or flown during funeral processions. However, some Palestinians ignored this and instead displayed the tricolour.

However, there is no legal reason why the flag of Palestine cannot be flown in Israel. A Jerusalem court ruled that it could.

About an hour before the funeral began, the Israel military released preliminary findings into her death.

They have concluded that it is impossible to identify the cause of the shooting that killed the reporter.

Hours after her death, the Prime Minister of Israel stated that it was “likely” she was killed by Palestinian fire.

Journalists present at the scene also disagreed with this and the IDF has now admitted that there was a possibility that an Israeli soldier fired from a Jeep on her.

This is a bit of a backtrack.

It is undisputed that Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered while doing her job. She was a journalist, and was clearly identified as such.

Let’s not forget the question of who was at fault. The Israeli actions and words following her death have not helped to calm an angry and febrile atmosphere.

David Lammy, shadow foreign secretary, tweeted “There must be accountability für the death Shireen Abu Akleh.

“These scenes of mourners being beat are unjustifiable and only increase the demands for justice and add to her pain and family’s suffering.”

Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat MP of Palestinian heritage) tweeted: “Shireen is loved by all Arabs, regardless of their religion. They should be allowed time to grieve.

“The Israeli army storming the funeral in such a way is completely unacceptable. I expect a full condemnation.

[Foreign Secretary] Liz Truss. But I know I won’t get it.”

She urged the UK government to ensure that an independent investigation was conducted.


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