The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an internal investigation has found evidence of police misconduct, but will not proceed further.
An Israeli police investigation into its agents’ attack on mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has concluded that no one should be punished despite police misconduct, sources told Israeli officials. newspaper Haaretz told.
The attack on the porters at the funeral, which nearly caused them to drop Abu Akleh’s coffin, was broadcast live around the world, sparking international outrage over what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.
The Police Operations Department presented its conclusions Wednesday evening to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, who initially ordered the investigation in May.
The investigation was intended to shed light on the chain of events that led to the police attacking the mourners. The police chief has refused to make the findings of the report public.
Abu Akleh, a longtime television correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was killed while reporting Israeli army raids on the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.
Thousands of Palestinians attended her funeral last month. Several police officers charged at the participants and dispersed them with batons.
Israeli forces seized Palestinian flags from mourners and later smashed the window of the hearse containing Abu Akleh’s body and removed a Palestinian flag.
The Red Crescent in Jerusalem said 33 people were injured in the attacks and six were hospitalized. Israeli authorities said six people were arrested after mourners threw “stones and glass bottles”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply disturbed” by the violence, a spokesman said.
The European Union said it was “dismayed by the violence at St Joseph Hospital and the unnecessary violence used by the Israeli police during the funeral procession”.
Abu Akleh’s brother, Anton, has previously disputed an Israeli claim that mourners took the coffin at the funeral without the family’s permission, calling it “illogical and untrue”.
Haaretz said Abu Akleh’s coffin would initially be carried by vehicle through the procession, in agreement with police, but was instead carried by porters on foot without police permission.
Police sources told Haaretz at the probe’s launch last month that they supported the officers’ behavior at the funeral.
“Obviously the images that emerged were unpleasant and could have been different, but overall the police acted well in a complex and violent incident,” said a senior police officer.
The newspaper said the commander overseeing the event was a lieutenant colonel, despite such a sensitive event usually requiring the supervision of a senior commander.
Anton Abu Akleh rejected the police investigation into the unrest at his sister’s funeral.
“We don’t care what Israel says or does, everything is clear in the pictures. The police are the aggressor,” he said. “They try to cover up their actions and mistakes.”