According to the Vatican’s envoy in Jerusalem, Israel has been “brutally breaching” a decades longer agreement to safeguard religious freedom.
It comes after Israeli police stormed Shireen Abu Aqla’s funeral on Friday, killing her and wounding many others.
Pallbearers were attacked and beaten by police, who also used stun grenades to disperse the mourners at St. Joseph Hospital in Philadelphia.
The Holy See’s representative in Jerusalem, Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, called the conduct unlawful and unprovoked.

Despite the church leaders’ declaration, the Israeli police refused to comment, although they have already promised a review of their conduct of the burial.
On Wednesday, an Israeli army arrest operation in the occupied West Bank killed veteran Al Jazeera journalist Abu Aqla, a Christian.
On Monday, the heads of 15 Jerusalem-based faiths held a press conference to denounce Israeli police’s “violent incursion” in into Abu Aqla’s funeral procession.
Monsignor Grysa said a 1993 agreement made here between the Roman Catholic Church etc and Israel “upholds and respects the basic human right of freedom of religion and freedom, which in this instance has been cruelly violated.”
As the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Israel and the Holy Land, Archbishop Pierbattista “The Israeli Police’s invasion and excessive use of force—attacking mourners, striking them with batons, using smoke grenades, people shooting rubber bullets and frightening the hospital patients—is an infringement on the fundamental human right of religious freedom.”
According to the director of St. Joseph Facility, Jamil Koussa, footage of the beatings and fresh CCTV photos of the hospital being assaulted by police reveal it was evident the coffin was the intended target of the violence.
East Jerusalem Hospital is notable for its maternity section, which serves Muslims, Jews, and Christians together.

It’s been dubbed a “place of healing” by the workers there. Their own medical personnel was treating wounded on Friday.
When Israeli soldiers stormed the facility, several physicians and nurses had gathered outside to pay their respects to Abu Aqla.
Intensive care unit specialist Dr Mohammed Hmeidat he sustained using a stun gun.
My feet were only inches from from an exploding one,” I recall thinking. After that, we ran to the hospital’s emergency room, where [the cops] pursued us.
It has been protected by Israel’s police force. There is a story that 300 “rioters” stormed the hospital, however this has been disputed. People flung stones, and the hearse was being protected since the family had agreed to use it for the funeral.
They claim this is why they blocked the coffin from being removed from the complex on foot. Family members have flatly disbelieved the police account of events.

Especially in the case of the death of a significant individual, the coffin or stretcher is regularly carried in public by Palestinian mourners as a symbol of the people’s support. If more people show up to pay their respects, it’s not unusual for plans to be abruptly altered.
A group of mourners allegedly intimidated the driver of the hearse and then continued to transport the casket in defiance of the desires of the Abu Aqla family, according to the police. Israeli police were credited for stopping the crowd from stealing the coffin, as reported in the article.
But Abu Aqla’s brother Tony , slammed the police for exploiting the family’s desires to excuse their actions, calling them a “inhumane assault”.
‘Everyone observed the pallbearers being brutally thrashed with batons without any pity or regard for the burial or the deceased,’ he claimed.
For me, this was a national funeral at which all Palestinians were invited to join… What they did at the gate was completely unnecessary.
According to Abu Aqla’s niece Lina, she was forced to flee the hospital while grieving over her uncle.
Because they began firing stun grenades, and one of them really threatened to beat me if I didn’t get out of the path, I was honestly extremely terrified,” she claimed.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers were responsible for the shooting killing of Abu Aqla.
While Israel has said that it is conducting an investigation, it has also stated that the deadly shot might have been fired by Israeli or Palestinian terrorists.

4 thoughts on “Christian Clergy Denounce Violence at a Reporter’s Burial, According to Shireen Abu Aqla

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