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Jen Psaki beats Israeli police at Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki condemned what she called “deeply disturbing” footage on Friday in which Israeli police armed with batons stormed into the funeral procession for American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.

Israeli authorities said they rushed into crowds in Jerusalem – almost causing Abu Akleh’s coffin to fall to the ground – after Palestinians threw stones. The incident came shortly before a closed meeting at the White House between President Biden and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

“We’ve all seen those pictures. They are obviously deeply troubling,” Psaki said at her final briefing before handing over the reins to new press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“We believe this is a day when we should all, including everyone present, honor the memory of a remarkable journalist who lost her life.”

Israeli police confront mourners.
Israeli authorities said they stormed into crowds in Jerusalem after Palestinians threw stones.
Mahmoud Illean/AP
Mourners carry slain veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
The chaos almost caused Shireen Abu Akleh’s coffin to fall to the ground.
Mahmoud Illean/AP
Israeli police confront mourners and journalists.
Israel Police confront mourners and journalists covering the funeral of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Mahmoud Illean/AP

Psaki added: “We regret the interference with what should have been a peaceful procession. We have called for respect for the funeral procession, the mourners and the family at this sensitive time. We are also in close contact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities – obviously have been and will continue to be, especially given today’s scene.”

Abu Akleh, 51, was fatally shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. She came from a Palestinian Christian family and has worked for the Qatar-based news channel since 1997.

Israel has called for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority, urging the PA to turn over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh for forensic analysis to determine who fired it. The PA has denied this, saying it will conduct its own investigation and forward the findings to the International Criminal Court.

Jens Psaki.
“We have called for respect for the procession, the mourners and the family at this sensitive time,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Psaki said, “We are not currently involved in any of the investigations, but we are working to bridge the gap and are available to provide assistance if needed.”

It’s unclear why Biden’s meeting with the Jordanian king was closed to reporters. A selection from the White House meeting said leaders discussed unrest in Israel and the West Bank ahead of a possible Biden visit next month.

Biden and Abdullah “consulted on recent events in the region and discussed urgent mechanisms to stem violence, calm rhetoric and ease tensions in Israel and the West Bank,” the White House said.

Mourners carry the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Mahmoud Illean/AP
Israeli police confront mourners carrying the coffin of murdered veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Shireen Abu Akleh came from a Palestinian Christian family.
Maya Levin/AP
Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aklel from a church to the cemetery.
Palestinian mourners carry Shireen Abu Aklel’s coffin from a church to the cemetery.
Ronaldo Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

“The President reiterated his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, citing the need to preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” the statement said. “The President also recognized the crucial role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as guardian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The leaders discussed the political and economic benefits of further regional integration in infrastructure, energy, water and climate projects, with Jordan being a crucial hub for such collaborations and investments.”

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/13/jen-psaki-slams-israeli-police-at-shireen-abu-aklehs-funeral/ Jen Psaki beats Israeli police at Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral

JACLYN DIAZ

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