US President Joe Biden was asked on Friday about violent clashes that broke out during the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh in eastern Jerusalem.
Responding to a question from a reporter on whether he condemned Israeli security forces for the violence, he replied, “I do not know all the details about what happened at the funeral of Shireen Abu Aqleh, but I know that an investigation must be opened.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also commented on the violent clashes.
“We were deeply troubled by the images of Israeli police intruding into the funeral procession of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh. Every family deserves to lay their loved ones to rest in a dignified and unimpeded manner,” he tweeted.
The Israel Police had taken action before Abu Aqleh’s funeral in an attempt to prevent clashes, including meeting with the family beforehand. Despite those efforts, hundreds of Arabs gathered at the funeral, shouted calls of incitement and later also threw rocks the police officers, who were forced to take action to disperse the rioters.
Earlier on Friday, Israel was condemned by a host of US officials for the violence at the funeral, including by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described the footage from the funeral as “deeply disturbing”.
“We have all seen those images, they’re obviously deeply disturbing. We regret the intrusion of what should have been a peaceful procession,” she told reporters.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the UN, tweeted, “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.”
While it remains unclear whether Abu Aqleh was killed from Israeli or Palestinian Arab gunfire, Palestinian Arab officials have been quick to blame Israel for her death.
On Thursday, top PA official Hussein Al-Sheikh announced that the Palestinians have rejected the Israeli request to hold a joint investigation into the death of Abu Aqleh.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)