Why did the Israeli police attack the crowd surrounding the coffin of the American-Palestinian journalist from Al Jazeera TV? “The Israel Police Commissioner, in coordination with the Minister of Public Security, has ordered an investigation into the incident. The findings will be presented to the commissioner in the coming days,” the Israel Police said.
On Friday, as the coffin was removed from St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian sector of the city also occupied by Israel, police burst into the facility and charged into a crowd waving Palestinian flags . The coffin almost fell from the hands of the bearers who were beaten by police armed with truncheons before being caught in extremis, according to images broadcast by local television.
The Israeli police repeated that the officers “had been exposed to violence from the rioters, which prompted them to use force.” She accused the crowd of Palestinians of having “thrown glass bottles and other objects”. “If you don’t stop these nationalist chants, we will have to disperse you using force and we will prevent the funeral from taking place,” a policeman can be heard saying on a video before the incident.
But images of the police charge circulating on social media have caused an international outcry. “We were deeply disturbed by the footage of Israeli police intruding on the funeral procession,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. The European Union condemned “the disproportionate use of force and the disrespectful behavior of the Israeli police”. “The occupation forces did not just kill Shireen (…) but they terrorized those who accompanied her to her final resting place”, denounced Qatar.
The Palestinian Authority, Qatar’s Al Jazeera television and the Qatari government accused the Israeli army of killing the journalist. She was shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967. She was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “press” and a reporting helmet.