Israeli security forces fire tear gas at mourners at funeral of Al Jazeera journalist shot dead in West Bank

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Israeli police have fired tear gas and attempted to arrest mourners at the funeral in Jerusalem of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead whilst covering a raid.

Ms Abu Akleh, 51, was reporting on an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin on Wednesday when she was shot in the head whilst wearing a press vest.

Tear gas was fired outside the hospital where her body was being held in east Jerusalem, and a shrine destroyed.

An hour later, Israeli police arrested mourners chanting outside the Catholic church in Jerusalem’s old city.

Shortly before the funeral started, the IDF released preliminary findings from their investigation into the killing.

The report says it is still not possible to determine who fired the bullet that killed the journalist, but they concede it could have been an IDF soldier.

The findings will make little difference to the thousands gathered in Jerusalem to bury her – to Palestinians she was murdered and they have lost a voice that spent decades reporting on events in the West Bank

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The situation remains very tense.

In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands in an area where the Dome of the Rock shrine at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem is seen at right in the background. Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian female reporter for the broadcaster's Arabic language channel, was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Al Jazeera via AP)
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Shireen Abu Akleh was covering a raid in the city of Jenin for Al Jazeera when she was shot

On Thursday, thousands of people gathered for a memorial service while her body was carried through the streets – with the bulletproof vest on top of the coffin.

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Burial service for Al Jazeera journalist

Reporters who were with Ms Abu Akleh, including one who was shot and wounded, said there were no clashes or militants in the immediate area when she was killed early on Wednesday.

All of them wore protective equipment that clearly identified them as reporters.

Israeli police in riot gear confront mourners and the journalists covering the transfer from the hospital of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to her final resting place. Pic: AP
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Israeli police in riot gear confront mourners and journalists covering the transfer of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s body. Pic: AP
Palestinian medics evacuate a mourner wounded during clashes when Israeli police confronted people gathered when Ms Abu Akleh's body was transferred to her funeral. Pic: AP
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Palestinian medics evacuate a mourner wounded when Israeli police confronted people gathered for the transfer of her body. Pic: AP

Israel has called for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and for it to hand over the bullet for forensic analysis to determine who fired the fatal round.

The PA has refused, saying it will conduct its own investigation and send the results to the International Criminal Court, which is already investigating possible Israeli war crimes.

Ms Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Middle East conflict for more than 25 years.

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On Thursday the funeral procession for Al Jazeera reporter was held in Jenin

She joined Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language service in 1997 and rose to prominence covering the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising against Israeli rule, in the early 2000s.

Read more:
How two videos represent two versions of a journalist’s death
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett reacts to Al Jazeera journalist’s killing

Recent days have seen an outpouring of grief from across the Palestinian territories and the wider Arab world.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera had earlier said that its managing director, Ahmad Alyafei, would travel to Jerusalem to attend the funeral.

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