Violence after Palestinian journalist leaves hospital coffin: UN chief "deeply troubled" by the behavior of the Israeli police

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply disturbed” by the behavior of “some Israeli policemen” at St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem during the release of the coffin of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, said said a spokesperson on Friday. The UN chief’s “disorder” also concerns the “clashes between the Israeli security forces and the Palestinians gathered at Saint-Joseph hospital”, said spokesman Farhan Haq.

“He continues to urge respect for fundamental human rights, including the freedoms of opinion and expression, and of peaceful assembly,” he added.

“The Secretary General was moved by the outpouring of sympathy from thousands of Palestinian mourners over the past two days, a testament to the work and life” of this American-Palestinian journalist, the spokesperson said.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a figure from the Qatari television channel Al Jazeera, was killed on Wednesday by a bullet to the head while covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

When the coffin was released Friday from Saint Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian sector of the city occupied and annexed by the Jewish state, the Israeli police burst into the premises of the establishment and tried to disperse a crowd waving Palestinian flags.

The coffin almost fell from the hands of the carriers, jostled by the police, but was caught in extremis, according to images broadcast by local television which also show the police using truncheons.

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