Friday 08 December 2023

Scotland’s Health secretary: Abu Akleh funeral attack by Israeli police “sickening”

Scotland’s Health secretary has strongly criticised Israeli security forces who beat mourners carrying the coffin of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh through the streets of Jerusalem.

Humza Yousaf said scenes of pallbearers being beaten by riot police on Friday were “sickening”, and that anyone with “an iota of humanity” should condemn their actions “in the strongest possible terms.”  


Abu Akleh, 51, was a household name across the Arab world, revered for her coverage of Palestinian life under Israeli rule for the Al Jazeera satellite channel for the last 25 years. 

She was shot dead on Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. 


Journalists who were with her, including an Al Jazeera colleague who was shot and wounded, said Israeli forces fired upon them even though they were clearly identifiable as reporters. 


Anger at Ms Abu Akleh’s killing escalated yesterday when Israeli riot police pushed and beat pallbearers, causing them to briefly drop her casket in a shocking start to her funeral procession.


It turned into perhaps the largest display of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation. 

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