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Israeli police beat Palestinian mourners at Shireen Abu Akleh funeral

Israeli police beat mourners carrying the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh during the start of the Palestinian American journalist’s funeral procession on Friday.

The big picture: The death of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist, who was shot dead Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, sent shockwaves throughout the Middle East and across the rest of the world.

Palestinians, journalists who witnessed Abu Akleh’s death and Al Jazeera say she was killed by Israeli gunfire. The Israeli military earlier Friday released preliminary findings of its investigation into the journalists death, saying it’s impossible to know from whose fire Abu Akleh was killed without a ballistic examination of the piece of the bullet that was removed from her body. The military said it had offered to do a joint ballistic examination of the bullet with the Palestinians and U.S. experts, but Palestinian officials refused the proposal.

What happened: Video aired by Al Jazeera on Friday shows Israeli police shoving and beating mourners, including those carrying Abu Akleh’s coffin, with batons as they attempted to leave a hospital in East Jerusalem. They also used stun grenades.

“We’re all still shocked when we saw the Israeli [police] moving into the courtyard of the hospital, beating mourners. Her coffin almost fell to the ground,” Al Jazeera English’s Stefanie Dekker said from the cemetery where Abu Akleh was laid to rest. Israeli police claimed in a statement that ahead of the funeral, several mourners started inciting the crowd and threw stones and other objects at police. They also said some mourners tried to interfere with the funeral and prevent the car that carried the casket from leaving the hospital to go to the church. Esawi Frej, the Israeli minister for regional cooperation, criticized the police and said they acted in a disgraceful way. Later Friday, a ceremony was held at a Catholic church in Jerusalem’s Old City before Abu Akleh’s body was taken to a cemetery outside the Old City and laid to rest as thousands gathered to mourn her.