Horror on streets of Jerusalem as ‘appalling’ mob swarms funeral procession of journalist
Shireen Abu Akleh: Funeral procession clash with security forces
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Ms Abu Akleh’s coffin almost fell to the ground as Israeli forces, some using batons forced themselves into the crowd of Palestinian mourners. Police said they were acting in response to being pelted with stones. Reacting to the scenes, Piers Morgan said: “My god.. what is happening here? This is appalling.” International Correspondent for The Independent, Bel Trew added: “I am speechless with horror watching this.”
Ms Abu Akleh was shot dead on Wednesday while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin.
Her killing has been widely condemned.
Police struck mourners during the start of Ms Abu Akleh’s funeral, as her coffin was being carried from a hospital.
Footage shows police beating mourners surrounding the coffin before pushing the crowd back.
Projectiles are seen flying towards the police, who fired tear gas into the crowd.
Screams are also heard erupting from the mourners.
The BBC’s Tom Bateman reporting from Jerusalem added that police used stun grenades and mourners rushed into the hospital for shelter.
Israeli police have claimed that the officers in the footage “were forced to use riot dispersal means” after being targeted by people throwing stones.
Following the disruption, the funeral proceeded in a calmer manner.
Al Jazeera and The Palestinian Authority have claimed that Ms Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces.
In a statement, Al Jazeera called on the international community to “condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for deliberately targeting and killing our colleague, Shireen Abu Akleh”.
However, Israel has stated that it is not yet possible to determine what happened and it could have been Palestinian gunfire that killed the journalist.
The bullet used to shoot Ms Abu Akleh, which was recovered during a post-mortem, is reportedly of a type used by both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen.
Ms Abu Akleh, 51 was a veteran Al Jazeera journalist and had reported on the Israel/Palestine conflict for two decades.
The Palestinian American’s funeral took place on Friday at the compound of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who paid tribute to the journalist.
He said: “We hold the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for her killing and they will not be able to conceal the truth with this crime.”
President Abbas added that he would refer the case to the International Criminal Court, which investigates potential war crimes.
However, Israeli President Naftali Bennett has claimed that Mr Abbas is “throwing blame at Israel without any basis.”
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