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Germany’s Baerbock shocked by police crackdown at Abu Akleh’s funeral

Germany’s Baerbock shocked by police crackdown at 
Abu Akleh’s funeral

dpa
Wangels, Germany
The violent crackdown by Israeli police at the Jerusalem funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was shot during an Israeli operation last week, was a shock, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Saturday.
Her comments came a day after the incident - which included security forces beating people who attended the procession, including the pallbearers - sparked outrage worldwide.
Baerbock said it was sad “that the funeral service could not take place in peace and dignity. Honestly, personally speaking, I am deeply shocked by this,” she said in response to a question during a press conference at the close of the meeting of Group of Seven (G7) ministers.
Akleh was killed while she was reporting on an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.
She was buried on Friday in a Christian Orthodox cemetery next to Jerusalem’s Old City, after a procession attended by thousands of people.
Police gave no warning before they began to push back the mourners and pallbearers and hit them with batons, according to a dpa reporter at the scene.
Thirty-three people were injured, according to the Palestinian rescue service. Six people were arrested, Israeli police said.
The police violence was widely criticized, including by the UN, the US and the European Union.
On Saturday, the Israeli police promised to investigate the violence and said the police would learn lessons from the incident. Hundreds of violent participants had tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm police officers, the police said.
Baerbock also said she was deeply shocked by the journalist’s death, saying democracies depend on “courageous journalists being able to report the truth and to do so in safety.”
The media should “never become targets of violence” and called for a transparent investigation into the circumstances of her death.
There have also been numerous calls for a probe into Akleh’s death, after Al Jazeera accused Israel of murder while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was an “execution.”

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