US ‘deeply disturbed’ by images of police beating funeral participants; EU appalled

Israeli police confront with mourners as they carry the casket of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in east Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. (AP Photo/Maya Levin)

Assessment: Scenes of police using force outside hospital, Shireen Abu Akleh’s casket almost toppling, draw widespread condemnation; cops says rioters had seized casket against family’s wishes …

Scenes of Israeli police rushing participants in the funeral of the late Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, using force against Palestinians who were carrying her casket outside a Jerusalem hospital and nearly toppling it, drew widespread condemnation on Friday, with the White House saying it was “deeply disturbing,” while the European Union said it was “appalled.”

The police said in a subsequent statement that it intervened because rioters took her casket at the hospital against her family’s wishes, and prevented it from being loaded onto a hearse, as previously agreed, for that part of the funeral procession.

Over ten thousand Palestinians paid their respects to Abu Akleh — killed during a firefight early Wednesday between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin — during a long, tense funeral procession that wound across the city from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to the Mount Zion cemetery.

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