Palestinians mourn Israel’s creation amid outcry over funeral raid

JERUSALEM – Palestinians rallied Sunday to mark the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, 74 years after Israel’s creation, with condemnation spreading over a police raid on the funeral of a slain journalist.
The annual demonstrations across the occupied West Bank, annexed east Jerusalem and inside Israel came with tensions high over the killing of 51-year-old Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.
The Palestinian-American was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli raid in Jenin, a West Bank flashpoint. A Palestinian militant wounded in clashes there, Daoud al-Zubaidi, died from his injuries in an Israeli hospital Sunday. Israeli police have vowed to investigate the chaos that marred the day of Abu Akleh’s funeral, after television footage seen worldwide showed pallbearers struggling to stop the casket from toppling to the ground as baton-wielding police descended upon them, grabbing Palestinian flags.
The scenes Friday sparked international condemnation, including from the United States, United Nations and the European Union, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday calling for a “credible” investigation into Abu Akleh’s death as he offered condolences to her family.
Late South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s foundation said Israeli police “attacking pallbearers” was “chillingly reminiscent of the brutality” seen at the funerals of anti-apartheid activists. Israeli commentators joined the chorus lambasting the raid as Abu Akleh’s coffin emerged a Jerusalem hospital.
In leading Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Oded Shalom said the footage “documented a shocking display of unbridled brutality and violence”. “The Jerusalem District Police decided to come down like a tonne of bricks on anyone who dared to hold a Palestinian flag,” Shalom wrote.

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