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Israeli police beat mourners at funeral of slain Palestinian journalist

Israeli police officers charged at Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday, before thousands led her casket through Jerusalem’s Old City in an outpouring of grief and anger over her killing.

Packed around Abu Akleh’s coffin, dozens of Palestinians, some waving Palestinian flags and chanting, “with our soul and blood we will redeem you Shireen,” began walking toward the gates of St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Israeli police officers, in an apparent bid to stop them proceeding by foot rather than taking the coffin by car, burst through the courtyard gates and charged at the crowd, some beating pallbearers with batons and kicking them.

At one point the group carrying her coffin backed against a wall and almost dropped the casket, recovering it just before one end hit the ground as stun grenades detonated.

The violent scenes, which lasted only minutes, added to Palestinian outrage over Abu Akleh’s killing, which has threatened to fuel violence that has surged since March.

Abu Akleh, who had covered Palestinian affairs and the Middle East for more than two decades, was shot while reporting on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

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