Tony Abu Akleh told CNN, “They could have easily blocked the road if they did not want to see the janaza from the hospital, but the attack was deliberate and brutal.”
Speaking at St. Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem, where the funeral began on Friday, he said he had spoken to Israeli police before the ceremony.
“The police called me and told me to go to the police station and they wanted to know the route of the procession and the arrangements for the funeral. They told us not to fly the Palestinian flag, not to give any slogans or slogans. I do not want to hear that,” Abu Akleh said.
“And they wanted to know the number of people attending the funeral. I told them I can’t make any promises to you, I don’t have the numbers and I can’t control the crowd. This funeral is a national funeral. Everyone has to attend. And that’s what we saw,” he said. Added.
In a statement Monday, the hospital condemned the “violent intrusion by Israeli police.”
St. Joseph’s Hospital called the incident a “grave violation of international law and order.”
“We, the bishops and faithful of the Christian Church in the Holy Land, condemn the violent intrusion of Israeli police into the funeral of Shirin Abu Akleh, a journalist thus killed, as he was walking from St. Joseph’s Hospital to Greece – Melkite Cathedral Church,” the statement said.
The statement added, “Israeli police aggression and coercion, assaults on mourners, beatings, use of smoke grenades, firing of rubber bullets, intimidation of hospital patients are serious violations of international norms and regulations.”
“Police have attacked the site without considering the sanctity of the site and the hospital’s campus and funeral, knowing that St. Joseph’s Hospital is under the patronage of the Vatican and protected by the French government,” it added.
Security camera footage shared by the hospital on Monday showed more than a dozen police officers being thrown into the hospital building with batons and moving aggressively through the corridors. CNN has reached out to Israeli police in response to a complaint from St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Israeli Public Security Minister Omar Bar-Lev told CNN on Saturday that police had “organized the funeral procession of journalist Shirin Abu Akleh in an orderly manner, coordinating with his family and working to understand the sensitivities and complexities.” Events
He added that “during the funeral, serious violent incidents took place on the part of the participants which made the situation worse on the ground.”
Israeli authorities have said they will investigate the incident, with police tweeting: “Israeli police support its police officers, but as a professional organization that wants to learn and improve, it will also learn from the incident.”
Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead in Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian and Israeli authorities are investigating the killings separately. Al Jazeera has accused Israel of deliberately killing a senior journalist.
CNN’s Karim Khaddar reports from Jerusalem and Celine Alkhaldi reports from Amman, Jordan.