US conveys 'anger, frustration' to Israel over violence at journalist's funeral

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Press Secretary Jen Psaki at a news briefing in the White House on February 16, 2021, in Washington, DC, the United States.
AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMMPress Secretary Jen Psaki at a news briefing in the White House on February 16, 2021, in Washington, DC, the United States.

'We regret the intrusion of what should have been a peaceful procession'

The White House Friday described footage from the Jerusalem funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqleh that showed Israeli police storming the start of the procession as "deeply disturbing."

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"We have all seen those images, they're obviously deeply disturbing," Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

"We regret the intrusion of what should have been a peaceful procession," she added.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that the administration of President Joe Biden conveyed a harsher message to Jerusalem. According to the Walla! news site, White House sources said there was "anger and frustration at the actions of Israeli police during the funeral procession."

Television footage showed pallbearers struggling to stop Abu Aqleh's coffin from falling to the ground as baton-wielding Israeli police officers charged at them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.

"We have urged respect for the funeral procession, the mourners, and the family at this sensitive time," Psaki said.

Asked if she condemned the Israeli forces' actions, she responded: "I think when we said they were disturbing, we obviously were not justifying them."

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