UN rights leader condemns ‘shocking’ attack on mourners of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Saturday condemned the attack on mourners at the East Jerusalem funeral procession of slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

In remarks delivered in Geneva, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet called footage of the Israeli police’s attack on mourners at the funeral procession “shocking,” noting that at least 33 people were injured in the violence.

“The Israeli use of force, which was being filmed and broadcast live, appeared to be unnecessary and must be promptly and transparently investigated,” Bachelet said.

“There must be accountability for the terrible killing not just of Shireen Abu Akleh but for all the killings and serious injuries in the occupied Palestinian territory,” she added.

Her comments come after the killing of 51-year-old Abu Akleh, a veteran Al Jazeera journalist based in the Middle East. The reporter was shot in the head while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank.

Bachelet placed the journalist’s killing in the context of a slew of other killings of Palestinian people by Israeli security forces, including 48 deaths this year alone.

“As I have called for many times before, there must be appropriate investigations into the actions of Israeli security forces,” she said Saturday, noting that the “culture of impunity must end now.”

The brutality at the funeral procession has also been condemned by other officials including United States Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“Deeply distressed by the images from Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral procession. The tragedy of her killing should be handled with the utmost respect, sobriety, and care,” Thomas-Greenfield tweeted last week.

The White House called the images from Abu Akleh’s funeral “deeply disturbing,” while President Biden has supported calls for an investigation into the violence.

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