The Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem on Monday strongly criticised Israel’s “police invasion” last week of a Christian hospital ahead of the funeral of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.
The veteran journalist was shot dead during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank. Palestinians and the TV network said Israeli troops killed her, while Israel said Palestinian gunfire may be to blame.
Anger over her death was compounded Friday when baton-wielding Israeli police in annexed east Jerusalem beat pallbearers carrying Abu Akleh’s coffin which was covered by a Palestinian flag.
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, on Monday condemned “Israel’s police invasion and disproportionate use of force” at St Joseph’s hospital, where her body was being held.
At a press conference at the hospital, he criticised Israeli police for “attacking mourners, striking them with batons, using smoke grenades (and) shooting rubber bullets”.