Despite discovering police misbehaviour, an Israeli police inquiry into the attack by its officers on mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has found that no one should be prosecuted, according to sources who spoke to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The attack on the pallbearers during the funeral, which nearly caused Abu Akleh’s coffin to fall, was aired live around the world, causing international indignation at what appeared to be an unjustified assault.
On Wednesday night, the Police Operations Division presented its findings to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, who had authorised the probe in May.
The investigation was designed to provide light on the chain of events that led to the officers attacking the mourners. The police chief has refused to make the conclusions of the inquiry public.
Abu Akleh, a longstanding Al Jazeera Arabic television correspondent, was slain while documenting Israeli army raids in Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank.
Her burial was visited by tens of thousands of Palestinians last month. Several police officers charged at the crowd and used batons to disperse them.
Israeli forces confiscated Palestinian flags from mourners and damaged the glass of the hearse transporting Abu Akleh’s body, removing a Palestinian flag.
According to the Jerusalem Red Crescent, 33 individuals were hurt in the attacks, with six of them being hospitalised. Six people were arrested, according to Israeli authorities, after mourners tossed “rocks and glass bottles.”
According to a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the violence has left him “very troubled.”
“The violence in the St Joseph Hospital compound, as well as the level of unwarranted force used by Israeli police throughout the funeral procession,” the European Union said.
Anton, Abu Akleh’s brother, earlier refuted an Israeli accusation that attendees at the funeral took the casket without the family’s permission, calling the assertion “illogical and incorrect.”
According to Haaretz, Abu Akleh’s coffin was originally scheduled to be transported by a vehicle through the parade, but was instead carried by pallbearers on foot without police approval.