Casket of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla almost hits the ground due to assaults by Israeli forces against unarmed pallbearers on 13 May 2022. (Photo credit: Screenshot / Washington Post)
Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that an internal investigation by Israeli police into the attack against unarmed mourners during the funeral procession of Shireen Abu Aqla concluded that, despite evidence of misconduct, no police officers will be punished.
Shireen Abu Aqla, the Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist, was murdered by Israeli forces on 11 May.
The funeral, which took place on 13 May, was met by Israeli police dressed in riot control gear, who charged at and beat attendees and pallbearers carrying the coffin covered in the Palestinian flag.
The shocking image of police brutally attacking the pallbearers, who almost dropped the casket carrying Abu Aqla spread around the world, causing international outrage at Israeli police conduct.
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) May 13, 2022
“Obviously the images that emerged were unpleasant and could have been different, but overall the police acted well in a complex and violent incident,” said a senior Israeli police officer.
The internal investigation was launched in May and submitted on 15 June by the Police Operations Division to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai.
Anton Abu Aqla, the brother of Shireen, slammed the internal investigation by the Israeli police.
“We don’t care what Israel says or does. Everything is clear from the photos. The police are the aggressors,” he said. “They are trying to cover up their actions and mistakes.”
Images posted on social media showed Israeli police beating attendees who wanted the coffin wrapped in the Palestinian flag. Israel has prohibited the display of the Palestinian flag since its occupation of the eastern part of Jerusalem, and its subsequent annexation in 1980.
Ahead of the funeral, the Israeli government had imposed a number of restrictions, including on the number of mourners attending the service and on the use of Palestinian flags and posters.
The occupying forces also stormed the home of Shireen Abu Aqla earlier in the day, in an attempt to tear down a Palestinian flag that was placed in her honor.
While the police conducted an investigation into their response to the funeral for Abu Aqla, the Israeli army decided it would not investigate their murder of Abu Aqla.
The video corroborated eyewitness accounts, which said there were no clashes in the area as the team of journalists prepared to cover Israeli raids in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Shortly after the murder of Abu Aqla, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attempted to dodge responsibility, saying she was likely killed by Palestinian gunfire.
Extremist Israeli settlers taunted Abu Aqla during the controversial Flag March on 29 May, chanting “Shireen is dead.”
According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, at least 55 Palestinian journalists have been killed since 2000, with no one ever being held responsible.