Jun 16, 2022
No Israeli police officers will be punished, despite brutally assaulting mourners at last month's funeral procession for slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a leading newspaper in Israel reported Thursday.
"We all know what happened, and we demand accountability for Israel's murder of Shireen Abu Akleh."
According toHaaretz, the decision to not hold any police commanders or officers accountable for their misconduct during Abu Akleh's May 13 funeral was made in advance of the official investigation.
As thousands of mourners made their way through occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police attacked the cortege with batons, stun grenades, and tear gas, while stealing Palestinian flags from mourners and smashing the window of the hearse carrying Abu Akleh's coffin. At one point, officers assaulted pallbearers carrying the casket, nearly causing them to drop it to the ground.
"We all saw Israeli police beat Palestinian pallbearers and mourners in Shireen Abu Akleh's funeral procession," the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian rights tweeted. "There's video evidence of their brutal violence."
"We all know what happened," the group added, "and we demand accountability for Israel's murder of Shireen Abu Akleh."
\u201cIsraeli riot police pushed and beat pallbearers at the funeral for slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, causing them to briefly drop the casket. \n\nThe procession turned into perhaps the largest display of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation.\u201d— The Associated Press (@The Associated Press) 1652470260
Israeli police claimed the mourners did not have permission to carry Abu Akleh's casket on foot.
"Obviously the images that emerged were unpleasant and could have been different, but overall the police acted well in a complex and violent incident," one senior officer told Haaretz.
Abu Akleh, 51, was a renowned Al Jazeera reporter who was fatally shot in the face while covering an Israeli military raid of the Jenin refugee camp in the illegally occupied West Bank on May 11. Another Palestinian journalist, Ali al-Samoudi, was shot in the back but survived.
Jamal Huwail, a university professor who helped drag Abu Akleh's body from the road where she was shot, toldCNN that Israeli forces "were shooting directly at the journalists."
Israeli officials initially blamed Palestinian militants for killing Abu Akleh. However, separate investigations by The Washington Post, The Associated Press, CNN, Bellingcat, and the Israeli human rights group B'Tselemconfirmed claims by eyewitnessesand Al Jazeera that an Israeli soldier shot the reporters.
\u201cIt\u2019s gross negligence to publish Israel\u2019s lies about murdering a US journalist\u2026the WSJ whitewashing the #ShireenAbuAkleh assassination, in the face of damning evidence from @washingtonpost\n@CNN @AP @bellingcat & @btselem indicating that an Israeli soldier killed #ShireenAbuAkleh\u201d— Rula Jebreal (@Rula Jebreal) 1655228321
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate claims Abu Akleh was the 86th journalist to be killed while covering Israeli oppression since the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem were occupied in 1967.
Phyllis Bennis and Richard Falk of the Institute of Policy Studies called Abu Akleh's killing "part of a longer pattern of Israeli violence and collective punishment--not just against journalists but against all Palestinians -- committed with impunity and rationalized by trumped-up 'security' concerns."
News of the Israeli decision comes ahead of a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to Israel, the occupied West Bank, and Saudi Arabia next month.
Biden has faced criticism for supporting apartheid Israel and fundamentalist Saudi Arabia--whose repressive absolute monarchy has been implicated in the grisly murder of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi--and for failing to thoroughly investigate Abu Akleh's killing.
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.