Israel police say they'll probe officer actions after attacking pallbearers at Shireen Abu Akleh funeral
Israel's police chief on Saturday ordered an investigation into the actions of officers at the funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh after they charged the procession and beat pallbearers, sparking global outrage.
Thousands of mourners packed Jerusalem's Old City on Friday for the burial of the 51-year-old Al Jazeera reporter. The Palestinian-American was shot dead by Israeli forces two days earlier, during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.
Television footage showed pallbearers struggling to stop Abu Akleh's casket from falling to the ground as baton-wielding police charged towards them, grabbing Palestinian flags.
⭕ LIVE: Israeli occupation forces are beating crowds carrying the casket of killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh ⤵️ https://t.co/f3VVuZNJ2g— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 13, 2022
"The Israel Police Commissioner in coordination with the Minister of Public Security has instructed that an investigation be conducted into the incident," the police said in a statement.
They had coordinated funeral arrangements with the journalist's family but "rioters tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm the police," they claimed.
The United States was "deeply troubled to see the images of Israeli police intruding into her funeral procession," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.
The European Union condemned what it said was "unnecessary force" used by the Israeli police.
On Saturday the foundation of late South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said scenes of Israeli police attacking the pallbearers were "chillingly reminiscent" of what happened during the funerals of anti-apartheid activists.
In a rare, unanimous statement, the UN Security Council condemned the killing, calling for "an immediate, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation," diplomats said.
The killing of the veteran Palestinian journalist has prompted a flood of disinformation and propaganda from the Israeli state in order to whitewash the violence of military occupation, investigates @marcowenjones #ShireenAbuAkleh #ShireenAbuAqla https://t.co/PHbU3Xccyu— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) May 14, 2022
Abu Akleh, a Christian, was a highly respected reporter and her funeral drew massive crowds.
As her body left St Joseph's hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, police stormed the mourners who had hoisted Palestinian flags.
The United States, European Union and United Nations have backed calls for a full investigation into her killing.
Israel has publicly called for a joint probe, which the Palestinian Authority has rejected.
A PA official said on Saturday that the authority would welcome the "participation of all international bodies in the investigation".
"What happened in her funeral yesterday by the #occupation forces reinforces our position that rejects #Israel's participation in this investigation," Hussein al-Sheikh added on Twitter.
She "was the sister of all Palestinians," her brother Anton Abu Akleh told AFP.
Fresh violence erupted Friday in the occupied West Bank, including a raid and clashes around Jenin refugee camp that claimed the life of an Israeli officer.