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Police say officers intervened after ‘rioters’ seized slain reporter’s coffin

Israeli police confront mourners as they carry the coffin of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israeli police confront mourners as they carry the coffin of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Officers who charged at Palestinians holding and surrounding the casket outside a Jerusalem hospital during the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh this morning intervened because rioters took her casket at the hospital against her family’s wishes, Israel Police say in a statement.

Police planned the funeral procession ahead of time with Abu Akleh’s family, a police spokesperson says in an English-language statement.

“About 300 rioters arrived at Saint Joseph hospital in Jerusalem and prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery — as had been planned and coordinated with the family in advance,” the statement says.

The mob threatened the hearse’s driver, and took the coffin on an unplanned march to the cemetery, police say.

“This went against the wishes of the Abu Akleh family and the security coordinations that had been planned to safeguard the large number of mourners,” the statement says.

“Israeli Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family,” the statement says.

The rioters threw glass bottles and other objects, injuring officers and mourners, it adds.

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