The time of the funeral of Shirin Abou Akleh, Jerusalem asserts itself Palestinian

This day of the Palestinian national funeral begins under baton blows. Shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday, May 13, Israeli police burst into the courtyard of St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, from where the body of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was to reach the Old City. Thousands of Palestinians wait to pay their last respects to this woman, convinced that she was killed by army fire during a raid in Jenin (northern West Bank) on May 11.

The police charge those who have gathered in the courtyard of the hospital. They push against a wall the men who had seized the coffin and who were advancing towards the gates, towards the street. They go after two of the carriers. One of them received at least ten baton blows in the ribs and on the shoulder, a kick in the buttocks, and ended up collapsing. The coffin tilts 45 degrees, live in front of the cameras, but does not fall.

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“The police wanted to prevent them from taking him on a procession through the district of Cheikh Jarrah. They struck men, elderly women and children indiscriminately. They fired stun grenades at the entrance to the building, entered it and terrified patients,” says the director of the establishment, Jamil Koussa. Fourteen people were injured, three of whom were hit in the head by rubber-rimmed metal bullets. They all returned home at the end of the day.

An Israeli officer had previously warned Mr. Koussa, the representative of the European Union and the French consul – a legacy of the Ottoman era, Paris remains the symbolic protector of the Saint-Joseph hospital. He didn’t want to see Palestinian flags or hear nationalist chants. “But no one can control that!” It’s not in our hands or in those of the family,” sighs the director. The day before, the police had made the same request to relatives of Shirin Abu Akleh, according to Israeli Arab MP Ahmad Tibi. The very afternoon of his death, already, the police had tried to remove a flag from their house in Jerusalem, where they were receiving condolences.

“Nationalist provocations”

Police say they reacted Friday to chants they call “nationalist provocations”. She says she received stones. She broadcasts videos, where we see men throwing objects that look like water bottles, shortly before her attack, as well as other images of stones lying on the ground, without context. In Washington, the White House said to itself “deeply disturbed (…). We deplore the intrusion into what should have been a peaceful procession”.

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