The United States criticized Friday’s Israeli attacks on mourners and pallbearers during the funeral procession for Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem as “deeply disturbing.”
“We regret the intrusion of what should have been a peaceful procession. We have asked for respect for the funeral procession, mourners and family at this sensitive time,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
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As his coffin was being transported, hundreds of Palestinians were seen raising the Palestinian flag and chanting.
Shortly afterwards, Israeli forces rushed the mourners, attacking them with batons, including the pallbearers, causing the coffin to fall.
“This is a day that we should all remember, including everyone here, the memory of a remarkable journalist who lost her life,” Psaki said.
Abu Akleh, a reporter for Al Jazeera, was shot dead this week while reporting on an Israeli military incursion into the occupied West Bank of Jenin. Palestine and half of it have accused the Israeli army of killing her.
Video footage showed Abu Akleh, 51, wearing a bulletproof vest with the words “Press” clearly visible.
Israel said armed Palestinians were responsible for his death before backing down and saying an investigation would be carried out.
Previous Israeli investigations into the murdered Palestinian reporters have failed to reach a verdict. But the United States has said that Israel could carry out a thorough investigation. Palestine has said it will not cooperate with the Israeli investigation and said it will not hand over the remains of the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.
Read more: Violence erupts as Shireen Abu Akleh’s coffin emerges from Jerusalem hospital