Israeli police said Thursday they had concluded an internal investigation into the violence at the funeral of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, but did not release any findings.
Police launched the investigation following an international outcry after the veteran journalist’s coffin nearly fell when police attacked the pallbearers at her funeral last month.
Thousands of people had attended the service in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel, and footage of the unrest was broadcast live on television. Israeli authorities blamed Palestinian protesters for the horrific scenes.
Police Commander Kobi Shabtai said Thursday that “we cannot remain indifferent to these raw images and we must investigate so that sensitive events of this order are not violently disrupted by rioters”.
“The police, under my instructions, investigated to assess the action of their forces on the ground in order to draw conclusions and improve the operational flow in this type of event,” he said in a statement. .
The results of the investigation were presented to the Minister of Public Works, a police spokesman said.
Abu Akleh was shot dead last month while covering an Israeli army operation in the Jenin camp in the occupied West Bank.
A Palestinian inquest said an Israeli soldier shot her in what it described as a war crime.
Israel denied the allegations, arguing that she could have been killed by a Palestinian gunman.
Abu Akleh’s brother, Anton, dismissed outright the police investigation into the disturbances at his funeral.
“We don’t care what Israel says or does, everything is clear from the photos. The police are the aggressor,” he told AFP. “They try to cover up their actions and their mistakes.”
Abu Akleh also held US citizenship, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the actions of Israeli police at the funeral.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States is seeking more information about the funeral investigation.
“Certainly, for us, usually these investigations – their findings – are made public,” Price told reporters in Washington.
Price reiterated that the United States believed the funeral had “disturbing intrusions into what should have been a peaceful procession.”
Al Jazeera gets a picture of a bullet
The Al Jazeera network, where Abu Akleh worked as a correspondent, said it obtained an image of the bullet used in Abu Akleh’s murder.
Al Jazeera reports that the ball has a green tip. A Palestinian official told the outlet that the government would retain the bullet for further investigation.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)