United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Friday that she was “deeply distressed by the images from Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral procession,” after police struck mourners at the journalist’s funeral.
Thomas-Greenfield added that “the tragedy of [Abu Akleh’s] killing should be handled with the utmost respect, sobriety, and care.”
Mourners had gathered at Abu Akleh’s funeral with Palestinian flags, chanting, “We die for Palestine to live,” and singing the Palestinian national anthem.
Police beat demonstrators at the funeral with batons, causing pallbearers to drop the casket momentarily.
Israeli authorities claimed that the chants were a “nationalist incitement” and “the policemen were forced to act” because the crowd ignored calls to cease and threw stones at police..
Witnesses say that Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces earlier this week while covering a military raid in the occupied West Bank. She was a respected and well-known journalist who spent decades covering Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region.
Following the violence against the mourners, police allowed Abu Akleh’s family to bring her body to a Catholic Church in the Old City. Demonstrators continued to chant pro-Palestine phrases and wave flags in support of Palestine as they made their way to the cemetery, where she was later buried.