Israeli Troops Attack Mourners at Funeral of Murdered Al Jazeera Journalist

The Cradle credit: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Occupation troops also stormed the home of Shireen Abu Aqla in occupied East Jerusalem ahead of her funeral

On 13 May, Israeli security forces attacked mourners attending the funeral procession of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla Nasri , who was shot in the head by occupation soldiers while covering a raid in the Jenin refugee camp on 11 May.

The body of the 51-year-old Palestinian-American left in a coffin from St. Louis French Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East Jerusalem, to begin the funeral procession to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Old City and then to the cemetery, with thousands of people in attendance.

Images posted on social media showed Israeli police charging against the attendees who wanted to carry the coffin on their shoulders, wrapped in the Palestinian flag, something that Israel prohibits and punishes since it occupies the eastern part of Jerusalem with the annexation of that area in 1980.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that it has treated dozens of wounded in the vicinity of the hospital.

Shireen’s body arrived shortly afterwards in a van at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, where she was transferred to the church where the mass took place, with hundreds of attendees and heavy security throughout the city.

There, police also cracked down on several attendees displaying Palestinian flags.

Ahead of the funeral, the Israeli government had imposed a number of restrictions, including on the number of mourners attending the service and the use of Palestinian flags and posters.

The occupying forces even stormed Abu Aqla Nasri ‘s home earlier in the day, attempting to tear down a Palestinian flag that was erected in her honor.

Colleagues of Abu Aqla, who also came under fire on 11 May while covering Israeli raids on Jenin, said the occupation troops deliberately targeted the senior Al Jazeera correspondent, despite wearing a bulletproof vest clearly labeled PRESS.

Hanaysha also highlighted that the Israeli snipers who opened fire could clearly see that they were journalists.

In response to the accusations, Israeli officials initially tried to dodge the blame for the murder, blaming Palestinian factions instead.

As international condemnation grows, the EU and UN have joined calls by right groups for an independent investigation into the murder of Abu Aqla.

The office of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement saying he was “appalled by the killing of Shireen Abu Aqla, a Palestinian-American reporter for Al Jazeera TV.”