US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is “deeply disturbed” by Israeli police incursions on Friday at the funeral of slain Palestinian-American reporter Shirin Abu Akleh.
“We were deeply disturbed to see pictures of Israeli police infiltrating his funeral procession today,” Blinken said in a statement.
“Every family deserves to be able to rest their loved ones in a dignified and uninterrupted manner,” he said.
“We remain in close contact with our Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and call on everyone to remain calm and avoid any action that could further escalate tensions.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki previously called the images “apparently deeply disturbing” and expressed “regret” at the intrusion, without explicitly condemning US ally Israel.
Television footage showed pallbearers fighting to stop Abu Aqleh’s coffin from falling to the ground, accusing Israeli police officers of using sticks, and grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.
Abu Akleh, a star journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed as he covered the unrest at the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The Qatar-based network alleged that it was deliberately targeted by Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett initially said armed Palestinians were “likely” responsible, but Israel withdrew the charge and said it was investigating.
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