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Israeli police attack Shireen Abu Akleh funeral procession

Israeli police brutally attack funeral procession carrying Shireen Abu Akleh body
3 min read
13 May, 2022
Israel has limited the number of people able to participate in the funeral itself to 50 and banned the raising of the Palestinian flag as well as chants, threatening to disperse mourners if these demands aren't met.
Israeli police attacked a crowd carrying Shireen Abu Akleh's body [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty]

Israeli police brutally attacked a funeral procession carrying the body of slain celebrated journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday.

Officers could be seen assaulting mourners as they carried the coffin of Abu Akleh through Jerusalem from the hospital to her place of burial.

Baton charges, tear gas, and horses were used by Israeli police against the mourners. Gunfire and screams could be heard in a live stream of the funeral as pallbearers struggled to keep the coffin upright.

Veteran reporter Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a raid at the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp for Al Jazeera on Wednesday despite wearing a press vest clearly identifying her as a member of the media.

Her death has shocked Palestine and led to a global outpouring of criticism of Israel's targeting of journalists.

Thousands of Palestinian mourners are expected to bid farewell to the celebrated journalist during her funeral in the Old City on Friday.

Israel has limited the number of participants in the funeral to 50 and banned the raising of the Palestinian flag as well as chants, threatening to disperse mourners if these demands aren't met.

It is anticipated that Palestinians will refuse to comply, The New Arab's sister site Al Araby Al-Jadeed said, citing Palestinian Prisoners Club Jerusalem director Nasser Qaws.

Dozens of Abu Akleh's colleagues are to mourn her while wearing press jackets of the like the famed reporter wore when she was killed, a Jerusalem journalist said.

Groups of them will carry her body from the Catholic church where her funeral mass will occur to the Mount Zion Cemetery on the outskirts of the Old City to be buried next to her parents.

Israeli police have been placed on a state of high alert in Jerusalem, according to Israeli radio.

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Hundreds of intelligence and plainclothes police officers have been deployed and local sources said checkpoints have been put up near the Old City.

Abu Akleh's funeral is set to begin at about 2:15pm local time (11:15 am GMT), according to senior Al Jazeera English foreign correspondent Stefanie Dekker.

Preparation for the funeral comes as the slain journalist's brother, Anton Abu Akleh, was called in for interrogation by Israeli police in the Neve Yaakov settlement in East Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon, sources close to the family said.

Anton was warned by Israeli intelligence not to raise Palestinian flags or chant at the funeral. On Thursday, Israeli police tore down Palestinian flags outside her family home and assaulted mourners, detaining two.

Palestinian members of Israel's parliament Osama Saadi and Ahmad Tibi accompanied Anton Abu Akleh during the investigation.

In Jenin, where the famed reporter was fatally shot dead, Israeli forces fired missiles at a house on Friday, according to official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Ten or more young Palestinians were wounded, sources said, including Daoud Al-Zubaidi, who was hit in the stomach with live gunfire, said Al-Araby TV, a media outlet affiliated with The New Arab.

A Jenin hospital said he was seriously wounded, Al Jazeera reported.

His brother, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, was one of six Palestinian prisoners to escape from Israel's maximum-security Gilboa Prison in September before ultimately being recaptured.

Israeli forces in Jenin also raided the location where they killed Abu Akleh earlier this week, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said.

Agencies contributed to this report.