Israel has arrested a pastor for Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Akleh, police said Thursday, but his lawyer has denied claims that the detainee was involved in his role in the funeral.
In an operation that has sparked international outrage, baton-driven Israeli police beat several Palbears while removing a journalist’s coffin from a hospital in Israeli-affiliated East Jerusalem.
Abu Akleh was shot dead during an Israeli army operation in the West Bank last week.
Palestinians and TV networks say he was killed by Israeli soldiers, while Israel says he could have been killed by Palestinian gunfire or stray shots by Israeli snipers.
A lawyer for Pallabahi Amro Abu Khudair told AFP that his client had been arrested and questioned about his role in the funeral.
According to lawyer Khaldun Najam, Israel has also claimed “a secret file regarding the membership of a terrorist organization (Khudir).”
“I think they will arrest more youths participating in the janaza,” Najam said. “For them, the subject of funerals and coffins was scandalous.”
Police have denied any connection between the funeral and the minor arrest.
“We are witnessing an attempt to create a conspiracy that is fundamentally wrong,” a statement said. “The suspect was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation that, contrary to allegations, had nothing to do with his participation in the funeral procession.”
The police’s argument for the raid on St. Joseph’s Hospital is different.
They called for an end to the “nationalist” slogan and said that the “rioters” among the mourners had fired missiles at the officers.
Israeli forces often cracked down on Palestinian identities, including the national flag, one of which was pressed on the coffin of Abu Akleh.
Police have vowed to investigate the incident.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)