Israeli police says they're investigating police violence at funeral for Palestinian-American journalist after blaming violence on protesters

·2-min read
Israeli police attacking mourners
Israeli police in East Jerusalem attacked mourners in the funeral process of slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 13, 2022.Ammar Awad/Reuters
  • Israeli police rushed a group of mourners at a Palestinian-American journalist's funeral on Friday.

  • Police said they were responding to violence from rioters at Shireen Abu Akleh's funeral.

  • They said they're investigating the incident.

Israeli police said they're launching an investigation into violence that broke out before the funeral of a slain Palestinian-American journalist after blaming the violence on protesters.

In a tweet thread, the Israeli police said they were prepared for "a calm and dignified funeral" for Shireen Abu Akleh and coordinated with her family but "unfortunately, hundreds of rioters tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm the police."

On Friday, footage showed Israeli police rushing at mourners during the funeral procession for Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh. The incident almost caused her casket to fall to the ground as it was being transported from St. Joseph Hospital in East Jerusalem.

The attack garnered international condemnation. Police said they were forced to use violence after they "were exposed to violence by rioters."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Abu Akleh's brother, Anthony Abu Akleh, told the outlet that police carrying batons began attacking men carrying Abu Akleh's coffin soon after it left the hospital morgue.

"The car was there, but they did not even give us a chance to get her into it," Anthony Abu Akleh said. "We were surprised by the attack on the people and the coffin before we got her into the car."

Police previously claimed that 300 "rioters" gathered outside the hospital, prevented the family from placing the coffin in the car, and threatened the driver of the hearse.

Police also said glass bottles and other objects were thrown and injured police and mourners.

Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering a raid in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp. Al Jazeera accused Israeli troops of killing her.

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