Jerusalem, MINA – Israeli troops fired stun grenades and attacked mourners carrying the coffin of slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh outside a Jerusalem hospital on Friday, ahead of her funeral and burial ceremony in the Old City.
Palestinian mourners insisted on carrying Shireen’s coffin on their shoulders from St Joseph’s French Hospital to the Roman Catholic church in Jerusalem, before taking her to her final resting place, the Mount Zion cemetery, Middle East Eye reports.
Before they could leave the hospital, Israeli troops attacked them, pushed them back, stormed the courtyard and made arrests.
Al Jazeera’s live broadcast captured the moment mourners nearly dropped Shireen Abu Akleh’s coffin as Israeli troops beat them.
Givera Al-Budeiri, a longtime colleague and close friend of Shireen, described the crackdown on mourners who gathered outside the hospital in person during the attack.
“The occupation forces stormed the hospital, they are now firing bullets, we are talking about a hospital here, not a conflict area,” he said.
“Even in her death, Shireen has exposed the actions of the occupation forces,” said another Al Jazeera journalist.
Moments later, Israeli officers forced the mourner to place the coffin in the car, and only allowed him to leave the hospital if unaccompanied. People at the hospital who wanted to join the procession were forbidden to do so.
When the coffin finally arrived at the Roman Catholic church, more supporters were waiting to attend Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral.
Thousands of Palestinian Muslims and Christians from Jerusalem and the Palestinian community in Israel, including Haifa and Nazareth, came to pay their respects to the senior journalist at Jerusalem’s Old City church on Friday.
“A united nation, raise your hands and raise your voice,” Palestinians shouted ahead of the service. “Muslims and Christians, raise your voices in unity.”
Many of Shireen Abu Akleha’s colleagues and fellow journalists were also present at the funeral.
Senior Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is known and highly respected by audiences across the Arab world, particularly in Palestine, where his death has resonated with people from across the political and social spectrum. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)