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Israeli police investigate officers' use of force at a veteran journalist's funeral

By Daniel Estrin
Israel's police chief orders an investigation into officers' conduct during Friday's funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed while covering an Israeli arrest raid in a Palestinian refugee camp. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel's police chief has ordered an investigation into officers' use of force toward Palestinians who were gathering at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Officers had charged at pallbearers, beating them with batons and causing the casket to nearly drop to the ground on Friday. Police have said they were trying to prevent crowds from carrying the coffin and had arranged with Abu Akleh's family to deliver it to the cemetery in a hearse.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as the United Nations secretary-general and the European Union condemned Israeli police conduct in Jerusalem over the funeral for Abu Akleh.

In a statement, police said "hundreds of rioters tried to sabotage" the funeral ceremony and harm officers, but that the police commissioner has ordered an investigation and findings will be presented in the coming days.

Abu Akleh was killed this week while covering an Israeli arrest raid in a Palestinian refugee camp. There's a dispute over whether Israeli soldiers or Palestinian gunmen shot her.

The 51-year-old was a well-known journalist in the Arabic-speaking world, spending decades covering conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis — including the Second Intifada of the early 2000s.

Since her death, Abu Akleh has become a symbol of Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank. Her funeral drew thousands of mourners.

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Dive Deeper:
Israeli police force to investigate their own officers as mourners beaten at journalist’s funeral in Jerusalem
Israel’s police force yesterday decided to investigate the conduct of their officers who attacked the funeral of a slain Al…
Israel police to investigate conduct at journalist funeral
Israeli police have decided to investigate the conduct of officers who attacked the funeral of a slain Al Jazeera journalist,…
Israeli police beat mourners at funeral of slain Palestinian journalist
Israeli police officers charged at Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday, before…
Israeli police beat mourners at a slain Al Jazeera journalist's funeral
Dozens of people tried to march the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh from a hospital to a nearby Catholic church,…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Israeli police clash with mourners at funeral of slain Palestinian journalist
Israeli police officers charged at Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday, before…
Nicola Sturgeon condemns 'disgraceful' Israeli police at murdered journalist's funeral
NICOLA Sturgeon has condemned the “disgraceful” actions of Israeli police who beat pallbearers at the funeral of a journalist murdered…
Get all your news in one place