Thousands of Palestinians participated in the gifts of the Palestinian-American journalist who was martyred last Wednesday with a bullet in the head while covering the news of an Israeli military raid on Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, occupied Palestinian territories since then. 1967.
Upon leaving the casket at St. Joseph Hospital in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian sector of the city also occupied by Israel, police stormed the institution’s buildings and charged the crowd as they waved Palestinian flags.
The Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa, speaking on behalf of the Bishops of the Holy Land, declared that “the police entered a Christian health facility, contempt for the church, disdain for the health facility, and contempt for the memory of the dead.” During a press conference at the hospital in Sao Jose.
He continued, “The police’s interference and their disproportionate use of force (…) is a serious violation of international norms and rules, in particular the fundamental human right to freedom of religion.”
During the procession, Shireen Abu Akle’s coffin slipped from the hands of the men carrying it when policemen armed with rattles attacked them, but they managed to preserve it, according to pictures broadcast on local television.
The occupation police, who opened an investigation after the strong reactions motivated by these pictures, said that they, in turn, were forced to face “disturbance” present in the procession.
Shirin Abu Akleh’s family rejected this version of events.
The director of the Sao Jose Hospital Jamil Cosa told AFP that on Friday he called the police at the institution and asked that the march be carried out “peacefully.”
The police warned that if people honoring the journalist chanted patriotic Palestinian “chants” or waved flags, the procession would be obstructed, he said.
Kusa said that a doctor was hit by a rubber bullet after the Israeli police attacked the institution’s headquarters.
After that, the crowd managed to trace the coffin towards a church in the old town, where mass was celebrated, and then to the cemetery.
The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the killing of the 51-year-old journalist, which Palestinian officials consider a premeditated act by the military forces of the Jewish state, and demanded a “transparent and impartial investigation”.
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