Israeli forces stormed the grounds of a Jerusalem hospital on Friday as a coffin containing the body of a slain journalist emerged before burial, with police saying they took action against people for “disrupting public order”.
TV images showed the coffin of Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Akleh almost falling to the ground as police grabbed Palestinian flags from a crowd surrounding a procession outside St Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, linked to Israel.
Israel forbids the public display of the Palestinian flag and often attacks those who hoist them at rallies or protests in the city.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News Channel online or through the app.
A senior Palestinian man, Hanan Ashrawi, tweeted that “barbaric #Israel ‘Special Forces’ viciously attack funeral procession carrying Abu Aqleh’s coffin” as it departed St. Joseph.
savage #israel “Special Forces” vicious attack on funeral procession containing coffins #ShirinAbuaqaleh St. Joseph was trying to reach the Greek Catholic Church in Jerusalem by leaving the hospital. the inhumanity of #israel on full display.
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) 13 May 2022
“inhumanity” [of] Israel is on full display,” said the former top official of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In a statement, police said they had negotiated with Abu Aqle’s family ahead of time to “enable a dignified funeral”.
“Unfortunately under the aegis of the funeral and taking reprehensible advantage of it, hundreds of people started disrupting the public order even before it could start,” the police said.
“As the coffin was about to leave the hospital, stone-pelting started at the officials from the hospital’s plaza and the authorities were forced to use means of spreading riots,” the statement said.
Violence erupts between Israeli security forces and Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh outside a hospital, before being taken to a church and then to its resting place in Jerusalem on May 13, 2022 . (AFP)
Police also released a video showing an officer outside the hospital addressing the crowd over a loudspeaker.
“If you don’t turn these spells off and [Palestinian] Nationalist songs we have to use force to disperse you and we will not allow funerals to happen,” the official says in the video.
Abu Akleh’s coffin left the hospital grounds in a vehicle and was carried to the church in Jerusalem for his funeral.
He was killed on Wednesday while covering a clash between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in occupied Jenin in the West Bank.
Interim Israel Army Investigation Says Who Shot Al Jazeera Journalist?
Palestinian injured in Israeli firing in Genin military operation
Global condemnation of the killing of Palestinian-American reporter Abu Akleh, uproar