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Massive crowds expected for burial of slain journalist in tense Jerusalem

24 16 20

Police were girding for possible unrest early Friday ahead of the funeral of slain al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, with tens of thousands or more mourners expected to attend her Jerusalem funeral with tensions already running high.

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was killed by gunfire to her upper body Wednesday morning while covering clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen during a military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. The death sparked international condemnation, though its not yet clear who is responsible for her killing.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of “executing” her, and rejected Israeli calls for a joint investigation to determine responsibility. Israeli officials have declared that it is too soon to determine who fired the bullet that killed her. Defense Minister Benny Gantz was quoted telling foreign reporters on Wednesday night that it could have been “the Palestinians who shot her,” or fire from “our side.”

The veteran al-Jazeera reporter, a Palestinian Christian born in East Jerusalem, was set to be buried alongside her parents in a cemetery near Jerusalem’s Old City following a funeral at a church in the city.

The procession is expected to depart around 2 p.m. from the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem and eventually culminate at the Christian Mount Zion Cemetery.

Hundreds of thousands of people were expected to take part in the funeral for Abu Akleh, which is slated to pass through Jaffa Gate and the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Police were expected to fan out across Jerusalem in bolstered numbers and were preparing to deal with violent flare-ups,........

© The Times of Israel

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