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Palestinians welcome foreign support in the investigation into the journalist’s death

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 14 (Reuters) – The Palestinian Authority on Saturday said it would welcome international support in the investigation into the death of an Al Jazeera journalist, while Israel said it would investigate an outbreak of violence at her funeral.

Israeli police attacked a mourning Palestinian mob holding the coffin of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh through Jerusalem’s Old Town on Friday, drawing international condemnation. Read more

The violence added to Palestinian anger over the killing of Abu Akleh, who has threatened to fuel tensions that have escalated since March.

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Palestinian authorities have described the death of Abu Akleh, who was covering an Israeli raid on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as a killing by Israeli forces.

Israel initially suggested the Palestinian fire may have been the culprit, but officials have since said they could not rule out Israeli shooting killing him.

Israeli Interior Minister Omer Barlev said he and the police commissioner had appointed a panel to conduct “a comprehensive investigation into what happened during the funeral, in order to draw lessons from the event.”

The findings will be presented in the coming days.

In Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated allegations that Israel was behind the assassination.

“Israel will not be a partner in any investigation into the murder of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh because of its responsibility for the crime,” he said on Saturday.

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the killing and called for an “immediate, full, transparent and fair and impartial investigation”.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian Authority official, said on Twitter that the authority would welcome the participation of international bodies in its investigation, although it has rejected an offer from Israel, which has expressed regret over Abu Akleh’s death, to cooperated in the investigation.

Israeli police said on Saturday that they had tried to “facilitate a peaceful and dignified funeral … and coordinate the organization of the funeral with her family. Unfortunately, hundreds of protesters tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm the police.”

At a hospital in Jerusalem, a Palestinian died Saturday from injuries sustained during clashes with Israeli security forces three weeks ago at the al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

This was the first fatality from clashes in the sensitive sanctuary in several years.

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Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Edited by David Clarke and David Holmes

Our standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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