When journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh’s funeral attendees had barely begun the procession to the cemetery in Jerusalem, the Israeli police charged in harshly. Those gathered, who waved Palestinian flags and chanted verses in her memory, were beaten with batons and tear gas.
Some 10,000 people marched through the holy city to pay tribute to Abu Aqleh, who was shot in the head during an Israeli army raid on Jenin last Wednesday. The summons began at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where the charge took place. Between the unleashed tension and the blows, the coffin of the well-known Al Jazeera reporter almost fell to the ground.
Despite this, the procession continued, and those present entered the walled citadel through the Yafo gate. They ended up burying him in the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion, next to the graves of his parents. In the final stage of the tour, the agents did not make an appearance: they waved the national flags and they sang in memory of the “martyr Shireen”.
The Israeli authorities were aware that the march would attract world attention. In the broadcast images, no aggressive attitude was perceived from those present. But according to the police statement, “objects and stones were thrown at the officers, who had to repel the rioters and make arrests to allow the funeral to continue.”
According to testimonies of a Palestinian witness, “they brutally attacked us because we were carrying Palestinian flags and we wanted to carry it (Shireen) on our shoulders to the old city”. The Red Crescent reported that they treated 33 wounded Palestinians, six of whom were hospitalized. The tension continued in the narrow alleys of the old city, with some throwing objects at officers.
At sunset, relatives and relatives of Abu Aqleh gave him their last goodbye, in an atmosphere marked by sadness and anger. Arif Hammad commented that he “was a Palestinian icon. He explained our story to everyone. He gave it all.” Others called the loss an “incomprehensible human tragedy.”
The true reason for the death of the reporter, who had worked for the Qatari channel since 1997, continues to generate controversy. According to colleagues who witnessed what happened, she was shot by an Israeli sniper, and they say they were far from the place where Palestinian militiamen were shooting. The version of the Hebrew military spokesperson is the opposite. Initially they defended that it could have been hit by a Palestinian stray bullet, and on Thursday they added that it could be a missed shot by a soldier who was trying to shoot down an armed man.
In Burquín (Jenin area) an Israeli special operations agent was killed yesterday by Palestinian shots. The commando stormed the village to implode the family home of an Islamic Jihad activist.