The funeral service of Shireen Abu Akleh, a former Al Jazeera journalist who was killed by a gunshot to the head two days prior, erupted into catastrophic violence and mayhem. Videos of the funeral procession shared by Al Jazeera provide disturbing visuals of a conflict breaking out between Israeli riot police and hordes of mourners.
Thousands of Palestinian mourners gathered in Jerusalem to pay their final respects to Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, where a great outpouring of grief and anger characterised the funeral procession. Videos shared by Al Jazeera show that as mourners tried to carry Abu Akleh’s coffin out of a Jerusalem hospital’s morgue, Israeli riot police, which had gathered at the hospital gates, began to charge, push, shove and fire tear gas at the crowd.
The disturbing video shows how the brutal force of the Israeli riot police and the violent outbreak which soon ensued, almost caused the coffin which contained Abu Akleh’s body, to topple over and hit the ground. In the video, Palestinian mourners can be heard chanting anti-Israelian slogans, while Israeli riot police can be seen firing projectiles and assaulting mourners with police batons.
A United Nations US Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, tweeted in response to the violent outbreak, saying, “Deeply distressed by the images from Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral procession” continuing she said, “The tragedy of her killing should be handled with the utmost respect…”
After a long struggle, the carnage managed to eventually subside, and the journalist’s body was peacefully transferred by the large crowd to a church in the Old City and thereafter, laid to rest at a nearby cemetery alongside her parents.
The 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist was killed on Wednesday, the 11th of May, by a gunshot wound to the head while providing coverage on the conflicts taking place within West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp.
Despite wearing protective equipment that clearly marked Abu Akleh as a member of the press, she was still caught in a crossfire which lead to the loss of her life. While it remains unclear on whether Palestinian or Israeli forces are responsible for killing Abu Akleh, Al Jazeera claims that Israeli forces intentionally opened fire on the renowned Palestinian journalist.