On Friday, Israeli soldiers attacked the funeral procession of slain Palestinian-ِAmerican journalist Shirin Abu Aqla, in occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.
Media sources said the soldiers assaulted the Palestinians with batons, including those carrying her in the coffin, and fired gas bombs and concussion grenades.
The attacks led to thirty-three injuries, including six who Palestinian Red Crescent Medics rushed to the Al-Makassed Hospital.
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During and after the funeral ceremony and burial of the slain journalist, the soldiers abducted fourteen Palestinians, including several women.
Despite the heavy Israeli military and police deployment and all restrictions and roadblocks, thousands of Palestinians participated in the funeral procession in occupied Jerusalem.
The police even attacked the Palestinians carrying her coffin, which nearly caused them to drop it, but they remained determined to carry the veteran journalist while the soldiers and the police attacked them with batons.
The funeral ceremony was held at the local Roman Catholic Church near Hebron Gate in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem before being buried next to her parents, who died nearly two years ago.
The funeral was unprecedented, although Israel tried to stop it, and tried to impose restrictions on how many persons could attend, and the attempts to prevent any procession from being held, and despite the closure, the roadblocks, and the hundreds of soldiers and police officers, thousands of Palestinians managed to attend, challenging the unlawful Israeli measure, and determined to attend and to expose the escalating Israeli crimes and violations.
The funeral started in the French Hospital, where thousands of Palestinians gathered in front of it, and the area, carrying Palestinian flags and chanting before the police and the army, started firing dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades and attempted to confiscate the Palestinian flags.
The attack forced the Palestinians back into the hospital property, where they gathered and decided to resume the procession despite the Israeli escalation and constant violence.
The army tried to impose various restrictions on the Palestinians, including attempting to prevent them from carrying Palestinian flags and the posters of the slain veteran journalist, but they remained determined and continued the procession.
Commenting on her death, Majdi Bannoura, an Al-Jazeera cameraman who always accompanied Shirin, said:
“What happened is that we arrived in the morning; at 6:30, we were told there was an invasion of the Jenin refugee camp.
Shirin and I arrived there; everything was quiet. We got out of the car, we wore our press vests and our helmets, and then the other reporters asked us to join them so that we could walk together as a group of journalists…
Shirin started walking, and within less than two minutes, the Israeli army shot her; it wasn’t even two minutes, she crossed the street, and the army started shooting.
I heard my colleagues shouting and saying Ali Sammoudi was shot. So, I carried my camera and filmed what was going on, I wanted to document what was happening, and I wanted to catch up with Shirin, but then the soldiers started shooting again. So I ducked and hid from the bullets, I then started slowly and carefully looking around, and that is when I saw Shirin on the ground.
I don’t know how God gave me the patience and courage to film, but It is my job.
Shirin and I started working for Al-Jazeera in 1997, we started working for Al-Jazeera in the same month of that year, and we have been together in the same team since then.
What can I say? God have mercy on your soul, Shirin, and may God give us patience and solace.