Jerusalem, May 12 (EFE).- A state funeral for Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank, was held in the city of Ramallah on Thursday.
The service was attended by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Mohamed Shtayyeh.
Abu Akleh, 51, was “a heroine who sacrificed her life in defense of her cause and her people,” Abbas said.
Both officials laid a wreath and paid their last respects to Abu Akleh, who was renowned in the Arab World for her reporting from the Middle East for Al Jazeera news channel.
Abu Akleh’s body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag and a press vest, was carried by the honor guard.
“We blame the Israeli occupation authorities for the murder,” Abbas said, adding that “this crime should not go unpunished.”
The president reiterated Thursday that his government rejects a joint investigation with Israel into the death of Abu Akleh and that he will take it “immediately to the International Criminal Court.”
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, meanwhile, insisted on a joint investigation and called on the Palestinian Authority not to take “any step to obstruct the investigation or contaminate the process.”
After the state funeral in Ramallah, the journalist’s body, which underwent an autopsy on Wednesday in Nablus, was transferred to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Abu Akleh is due to be buried on Friday in Mount Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem, a source close to the family told Efe.EFE