Israeli Police Complete Investigation of Shirin Abu Akle’s Funeral Behavior Amid Reports No Officers Will Be Punished

The police force was widely criticized after the march, in which television footage showed officers strike mourners with batons, almost causing the coffin to be dropped by the coffin-carriers, and forcibly removing Palestinian flags, including from a hearse, and arresting the flag-carriers.

Israeli police said at the time that they were responding to objects and stones thrown at police as mourners attempted to carry Abu Akle’s coffin on foot from a Jerusalem hospital to a church in the Old City. Police said they obtained prior consent from the Abu Akle family to have the coffin transported by car, which eventually happened, albeit after chaotic scenes.

Instead of releasing any details of the investigation or any conclusions, the police only released a statement in which Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai acknowledged that Abu Akle’s funeral was a “complicated event”, adding that “it is impossible to remain indifferent to the harsh pictures .”

Shabtai said the police checked the behavior of the forces on the spot, but he appeared to blame the funeral participants for the way events unfolded: “We need to carefully examine [the lessons from] incident, so that in the future, delicate events such as these will not be disturbed by violent rioters and will be respected.”

Israeli media widely reported that neither the policemen on duty nor their commanders would be punished for their actions.

In a statement, Shabtai offered his support to the forces, saying: “I trust the actions of the Israeli police officers who will continue to work reliably for the safety of the entire population.”

Israeli police were heavily criticized after the procession, with the White House calling the images “disturbing” and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken saying he was “deeply concerned about the images of Israeli police invading the funeral procession”.

CNN asked the police when they plan to release their investigation, but received no response.

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