US says Israeli assault on journalist's funeral 'deeply disturbing'

'We regret the intrusion into what should have been a peaceful procession,' says White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki

2022-05-13 21:56:09

WASHINGTON

The Israeli police's attack on the funeral procession of slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is "deeply disturbing," the White House said on Friday.

"This is a day where we should all be marking, including everyone there, the memory of a remarkable journalist who lost her life," Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on her last day on the job.

"With this disturbing footage from the funeral procession today in Jerusalem, we regret the intrusion into what should have been a peaceful procession. We've urged respect for the funeral procession, the mourners and the family at the sensitive time," added Psaki.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli police surrounded mourners and used stun grenades and batons to assault pallbearers carrying Abu Akleh's casket as it was being carried out of the French hospital in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Abu Akleh, a veteran 51 year-old journalist, was covering Israeli military raids near the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank when she was shot dead on Wednesday. Palestinian officials and her employer, Al Jazeera, say she was murdered by Israeli forces.