Clashes erupt during journalist’s funeral in Jerusalem (VIDEOS)
violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces
erupted in Jerusalem on Friday during the funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh,
a veteran Palestinian journalist who had worked at Al Jazeera for more
than two decades. The reporter was killed earlier this week under
unclear circumstances during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank.
Israeli police blamed the violence on Palestinian “rioters” who allegedly pelted the hospital compound from which the funeral procession began with stones. Policemen “were forced to act,” Tel Aviv insisted, with security forces deploying crowd control measures to disperse the “rioters.”
from the scene shows Israeli police charging the funeral procession and
beating Palestinians with batons. People carrying the reporter’s coffin
were apparently targeted as well, nearly dropping the casket on the
ground. At least 10 Palestinians were injured in the violence.
Akleh was killed on Wednesday during a military raid on the city of
Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank. The Palestinian authorities
were quick to blame the Israeli forces for her death, claiming the
51-year-old journalist was shot in her head. Another Palestinian
journalist, Ali Samoudi, was reportedly wounded in the back during the
deadly raid on the city. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
Al Jazeera, a state-owned Qatari network, has strongly condemned the killing of the reporter, branding it a “heinous crime” and pinning the blame on Israel for her death.
“We hold the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of the late colleague Shireen,” the network said in a statement, urging an independent and transparent investigation.
Israel has expressed its readiness to conduct a joint probe into the
incident with the Palestinian authorities, it demanded they surrender
the bullet that mortally wounded Abu Akleh. The Palestinian Authority,
however, has rejected the initiative.
On Friday, the Israeli
military released an interim report on the incident. The report,
however, lacked any conclusions, merely stating it was impossible to
determine whether the fatal bullet was fired by Israeli troops or some