Israeli authorities have refused to disclose the details of an internal investigation into misconduct by occupation forces during Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral.
Despite learning that Israeli forces had attacked the pallbearers as the procession during Abu Akleh’s funeral travelled through occupied East Jerusalem, the investigation concluded that no officer is to be punished.
Images of baton-wielding Israeli officers beating the pallbearers who, at one point nearly dropped Abu Akleh’s coffin, drew widespread international condemnation and stoked anger over the killing of the reporter during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank on 11 May.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply disturbed” by the violence, according to a spokesman.
The European Union said it was “appalled by the violence in the St Joseph Hospital compound and the level of unnecessary force exercised by Israeli police throughout the funeral procession.”
The Israeli Police Operations Division presented its conclusions last night to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, who had initially ordered the investigation last month.
“The funeral procession of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was a complex event. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the difficult scenes,” Shabtai said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel.
He said the incident needed to be adequately reviewed “so that future sensitive events such as these are not violently disturbed by rioters.”
“Under my guidance, the police reviewed the conduct of the forces on the ground, with the aim of drawing lessons and improving operational conduct in similar future incidents,” he added.
He said he trusts the police under his command “to do their job faithfully for the safety of the entire public.”
Israel assassinated Abu Akleh while she was covering the occupation army’s storming of Jenin refugee camp. The 51-year-old was wearing a flak jacket clearly displaying the word “Press” and had a helmet on but was still shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. Her colleagues were also shot at as they tried to rescue her.