The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, on Monday deplored an Israeli police assault on the funeral of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh at the weekend. The cops were caught on video attacking mourners, even those carrying her coffin.
Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American journalist who worked as a reporter for the Arabic-language channel Al Jazeera for 25 years, and was one of the most prominent names across the Middle East for her decades of reporting in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. Last Wednesday, while wearing a blue vest with “PRESS” written on it, she was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.
Al Jazeera, an AFP photojournalist and the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed her, which Israel denied. Pizzaballa, the Vatican’s top representative in Israel, said: “we are shocked by the unjustifiable conduct (of the Israeli police) and we want to denounce and condemn it in a clear and unequivocal way”. He stated that “security reasons cannot justify an event of this kind, which strikes the sensibilities of the Christian community and others, above all at such a delicate time as the one we are living through.”
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