Israel raids Jerusalem hospital grounds after journalist's coffin collapses

Israel raids Jerusalem hospital grounds after journalist's coffin collapses

Israeli troops have stormed the grounds of a Jerusalem hospital after a coffin carrying the body of a Palestinian American journalist shot dead during an Israeli army operation.

The police said on Friday they acted before the burial due to mourners disrupting public order TV images showing the coffin nearly falling to the ground as police grabbed Palestinian flags from the crowd around the procession outside St Joseph's hospital in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

Israel prohibits public displays of Palestinian flags and prevents people from hoisting them at rallies and protests in the city.

A senior Palestinian figure, Hanan Ashrawi, tweeted that savage Israeli special forces viciously attack the funeral procession bearing the coffin of Abu Aqleh as it left St Joseph's hospital.

The former Palestine Liberation Organisation official said Israel's inhumanity is on full display.

In a statement, police said they had held talks with Abu Aqleh's family in order to allow a respectable funeral. Hundreds of people began disrupting the public order before the funeral even began, under the auspices of the funeral and taking cynical advantage of it.

As the coffin was about to exit the hospital, stones began to be thrown at officers from the hospital's plaza, and the officers were forced to use riot dispersal means. An officer outside the hospital grounds addresses the crowd in a video released by the police. If you don't stop these chants and Palestinian nationalistic songs, we'll have to disperse you using force and we won't let the funeral take place, the officer says in the video.

Abu Aqleh's coffin left the hospital grounds by vehicle and arrived at a Jerusalem church for her funeral. The journalist was killed on Wednesday while covering clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.