Israel yesterday pledged to investigate scandalous police allegations filed on Friday against the funeral procession of slain Palestinian reporter Shirin Abu Akle. Concern over images of repression at such a challenging time, even among the most staunch allies of the Zionist state, has put Naftali Bennett’s government on the defensive.
At least 33 people were injured in police violence at one point in the funeral procession, the largest recorded in East Jerusalem in more than twenty years, which turned into an act of national self-assertion.
Another young man died yesterday, wounded in April by police on the Esplanade of Mosques
A new cause for mourning is that yesterday a young Palestinian, Walid al-Sharif, died as a result of injuries received during police shootings three weeks ago during Ramadan, on the Esplanade of Mosques – for Jews, on the Esplanade of Mosques. The temple is also in Jerusalem.
A popular Palestinian reporter with an American passport was killed Wednesday in Jenin, in the West Bank, in a shelling attack by Israeli security forces, according to fellow journalists accompanying her. Israel, which uses drones in raids like the one that day, was unable to provide images to disprove this.
But contempt for the grief of his relatives and admirers overflowed the glass. After UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ disapproval, it was the turn of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday. Calling the events “shocking”, Michelle Bachelet called for a “quick and transparent investigation”. He also reported that “48 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces this year” and stated that “this culture of impunity must end now.”
He might add that over forty Palestinian journalists have been killed in the last twenty years.
The US government, EU and UN Security Council also criticized the events after images of agents beating undertakers went viral.
The Israeli police justified their actions with nationalist chants, the presence of Palestinian flags, the throwing of stones, or the violation of an agreement with the family so that the coffin would not be carried on their shoulders. Later this moment in front of the cameras was denied by the brother of the victim.
A year ago, one of the tallest buildings in Gaza, which housed the offices of Al Jazeera, collapsed. This week the victim was one of the most famous figures of the Qatari network in its Arabic version.
Shirin Abu Akle was born in Jerusalem 51 years ago to a Christian family from Bethlehem. Before reaching his hometown where he rests, his body was honored in Ramal and Jenin itself.
Israeli raids in this city are justified because it is the origin of some of the commandos that have attacked Israeli cities in the past two months.
Another element of tension is that this week Israel approved the construction of 4,000 new houses for settlers.
Likewise, the biggest project to relocate the Palestinian population since the 1970s has been given the green light. “The Supreme Court has proven once again that it has no equal when it comes to whitewashing the injustice of the occupation,” wrote Haaretz in a tough editorial. “Eight villages that have been home to nearly a thousand Palestinians for generations will be destroyed,” an Israeli newspaper explains about the eviction of Masafer Yatta residents in the West Bank to create a firing range.
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