Sunday, November 27, 2022

Dead Palestinian journalist buried in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — Thousands of Palestinians were expected to attend the funeral in Jerusalem on Friday of an Al Jazeera journalist who witnesses say was shot by Israeli forces while covering a military operation in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military command assured that, according to its initial investigation, an intense firefight took place about 200 meters from where Shireen Abu Akleh fell. He said he was unable to determine whether she was shot by Israeli soldiers or by Palestinian militants.

In recent days, expressions of mourning have multiplied in the Palestinian territories and the Arab world in general over the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran television correspondent who for a quarter of a century covered the harsh reality of life under Israeli occupation. , which has been going on for more than six decades with no end in sight.

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A funeral service will be held Friday afternoon at a Catholic church in Jerusalem’s Old City, followed by burial in a nearby cemetery. Crowds are expected amid a heavy Israeli police presence. Qatar-based Al Jazeera said its director Ahmad Alyafei will attend the funeral.

Israel has demanded an investigation together with the Palestinian Authority and that the latter hand over the bullet for a forensic analysis to determine who fired it. The Palestinian Authority has refused, saying it will conduct its own investigation and take the case to the International Criminal Court, which is already investigating possible Israeli war crimes.

The Israeli command said in a statement Friday that Palestinian militants were firing irresponsibly at their military vehicle near the site where Abu Akleh fell. He said his forces returned fire and, without ballistics analysis, he cannot determine who was responsible.

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“The conclusion of the preliminary investigation is that the source of the shots that killed the reporter cannot be determined,” the statement said.

Other reporters who were with Abu Akleh, one of whom was injured, said there were no clashes or militants in the immediate area where she was killed Wednesday morning. They all wore protective gear that clearly identified them as press workers.

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