Blinken condemns Israeli forces for attack on Palestinian American journalist's funeral

Blinken condemns Israeli forces for attack on Palestinian American journalist's funeral

Joe Biden's secretary of state has issued a statement condemning Israeli forces for their attack hours earlier on the funeral procession of a Palestinian American journalist who was shot and killed this week.

We are deeply troubled by the images of Israeli police entering the funeral procession of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Aqleh, according to Antony Blinken's statement on his official Twitter account. Every family deserves to lay their loved ones in a dignified and unimpeded manner. Blinken's brief statement came after television cameras captured police in Israel stormed Abu Aqleh's funeral procession, kicking and punching mourners with batons, and knocking pallbearers so far off balance that they dropped her coffin to the ground.

The show of force came after people circumvented roadblocks in occupied East Jerusalem to join the slain Al Jazeera reporter's funeral procession. Mourners chanted Palestine! Before Israeli police cracked down on the procession, participants accused of disrupting public order, sang the Palestinian national anthem and waved Palestinian flags.

Israel prohibits the public display of Palestinian flags, even at rallies and protests.

Abu Aqleh died on Wednesday morning after being shot in the head in the West Bank city of Jenin. Her colleagues said she was killed in a burst of gunfire from Israeli forces on a small group of journalists covering an expected raid by Israel s military.

The Israeli military has expressed condolences for Abu Aqleh's death, but has also maintained that its troops were returning fire at the scene and that the journalist may have been cut down by shots from Palestinian forces.

When she was killed, Abu Aqleh, 51, wore a helmet and body armor that clearly marked the press, according to video footage of her slaying.