Slain Al Jazeera journalist's casket nearly falls to the ground as Israeli police beat mourners during funeral procession

1 week ago 18
  • Israeli police rushed mourners during the funeral procession of a slain Al Jazeera journalist. 
  • Videos from the scene show police beating mourners as Shireen Abu Akleh's casket nearly falls. 
  • Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of shooting and killing the 51-year-old veteran reporter on Wednesday.

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Israeli police rushed at mourners during the Friday funeral procession for slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, nearly causing her casket to fall to the ground. 

Footage aired by Al Jazeera shows police confronting mourners as they moved Abu Akleh's casket from a hospital in East Jerusalem. A group of officers then stormed into the mourners, pushing them back as they struggle to hold onto the casket. 

Some officers could also be seen beating mourners before multiple loud bangs go off and smoke spreads. 

—Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 13, 2022

Al Jazeera accused Israeli troops of killing 51-year-old Abu Akleh — who was wearing a vest marked with "Press" — during a Wednesday raid in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp. 

The network said her death was a "blatant murder, violating international laws and norms."

The Israeli Defence Forces initially challenged this accusation and said it was "looking into the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen," but has since backtracked and said it wasn't sure who fired the fatal shot. 

According to local media reports, at least 1,000 mourners accompanied Abu Akley's casket to the cemetery on Friday. Footage showed crowded streets as people paid their respects to the slain journalist.

One video shows Israeli police rip a Palestinian flag off the van carrying Abu Akley's casket as it proceeds with the funeral procession to the cemetery, according to Kan, Israel's public broadcasting network. 

—כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 13, 2022

Israeli police said stones were thrown at officers before they rushed mourners, the Times of Israel reported. Reuters video shows objects being thrown at police, though the video was taken before Abu Akleh's casket was carried. It's unclear if rocks were thrown at Israeli police before they rushed at the mourners carrying Abu Akleh's body.

The US State Department called for an "immediate and thorough" investigation of Abu Akleh's killing.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid both said they offered to start a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority.  

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