Tensions high ahead of Al Jazeera journalist funeral in Jerusalem
May 13 2022 11:51 AM
Family and friends of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid i
Family and friends of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, carry her body as she arrives in Jerusalem, May 12. REUTERS

AFP/Jerusalem

Israel bolstered security in Jerusalem ahead of the funeral on Friday of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, two days after she was killed during an Israeli army raid.
Israel and the Palestinians have traded blame over the fatal shooting of the 51-year-old Palestinian-American during clashes in the Jenin refugee camp.
The body of Abu Akleh, a Palestinian Christian born in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, has been transferred to the holy city from the occupied West Bank.
Her coffin began its journey to the drumbeat of a marching band, as crowds chanted slogans demanding an end to Palestinian security cooperation with Israel.
Thousands of mourners are expected to attend the funeral at a church in Jerusalem's Old City in the afternoon, an Israeli police spokeswoman told AFP.
Roads would be closed along the route of the procession, the spokeswoman said, with extra forces deployed to Jerusalem.
In a sign of Abu Akleh's prominence, she was given what was described as a full state memorial on Thursday at Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's compound in Ramallah.
Thousands lined the route as her coffin, draped in the Palestinian flag, was driven through the West Bank city, where a street is to be renamed in her honour.
Many held flowers, wreaths and pictures of the journalist, who has been widely hailed for her bravery and professionalism.
"Her voice entered every home, and her loss is a wound in our hearts," said mourner Hadil Hamdan.
The United States, European Union and United Nations have backed calls for a full investigation into what Al Jazeera labelled a deliberate killing "in cold blood", but the Palestinian Authority has rejected holding a joint probe with Israel.
While reporting in Jenin, Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest emblazoned with the word "Press", as well as a helmet.
Grief over her killing spilled beyond Palestine, with protests erupting in Turkey, Sudan and elsewhere.
She "was the sister of all Palestinians," her brother Antoun Abu Akleh told AFP.
"This crime should not go unpunished," Abbas  said during the Ramallah memorial, adding the Palestinian Authority held Israel "completely responsible" for her death.
PA official Hussein Al-Sheikh, a close Abbas confidant, said the Palestinian "investigation would be completed independently".
An initial autopsy and forensic examination were conducted in Nablus in the West Bank hours after her death.
Fresh violence erupted on Friday in the northern West Bank, with an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp leaving one Palestinian wounded, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.



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