Israeli Defense Forces attack peaceful funeral procession of slain Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist
Israeli soldiers on Friday brutally beat Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of longtime Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed earlier this week while covering an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
London-based artist Khadijah Said shared Al Jazeera'sfootage of the assault by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), describing it as "one of the most horrifying things I've seen."
Nick Dearden, director of U.K.-based Global Justice Now, said that the IDF's "horrific" attack—which included the use of stun grenades, tear gas, and batons—showed "an apartheid state in action" and "should be front-page news everywhere."
Thousands of Palestinians gathered for Abu Akleh's funeral service in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.
The slain Palestinian-American journalist—described as "an icon in Palestine and the wider Arab world" by Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based network where she worked since 1997—was buried alongside her deceased parents in the Mount Zion Protestant Cemetery.
Abu Akleh, 51, was fatally shot in the face on Wednesday while reporting on the IDF's ransacking of the Jenin refugee camp. Al Jazeeraaccused Israel of "blatant murder." Human rights groups have demanded a thorough and transparent investigation of the killing, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to pursue justice at the International Criminal Court.
Pallbearers almost dropped Abu Akleh’s coffin on Friday when the IDF attacked them near St. Louis French Hospital. "Police eventually allowed the family to drive the casket to a Catholic church in the Old City, which was packed with mourners, before sealing off the hospital and firing tear gas at scores of protesters," Al Jazeerareported.
According to the news outlet, Israeli forces arrested at least four mourners, including at least two men who hoisted the Palestinian flag in occupied East Jerusalem.
"Two men were arrested for actually raising the Palestinian flag," said reporter Imran Khan. "That's actually illegal under Israeli law."
"When Shireen's car carrying the casket actually came in, there was a Palestinian flag on display in the back of the car," Khan added. "The Israeli police actually smashed that window in and took the flag."
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