The violent scenes in Jerusalem are a symptom of a culture of impunity among the Israeli leadership and the police force it oversees
Many were shocked by the images of Israeli border police attacking the funeral procession of the prominent Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh – not merely by the police’s cruelty, but also by their willingness to ride out the reputational damage from the attack. Abu Aqleh’s killing, likely by an Israeli sniper, the subsequent raid on her family home and the police’s intimidation of her brother prior to her funeral all point to the growing sense of impunity among Israel’s decision-makers and military.
Israel’s leadership had promised the Biden administration that the funeral of Abu Aqleh would be “respectful”. They are likely displeased with the viral videos showing policemen attempting to tear the Palestinian flags from Abu Aqleh’s coffin while beating pallbearers with clubs, causing her coffin to almost fall to the ground. Yet the country’s leadership has not faced any international repercussions for its actions in the occupied territories in years. In his meek statements concerning the assault on the funeral, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, described Israeli forces as “intruding into the funeral procession”, as if they were merely uninvited guests.
Elizabeth Tsurkov is a research fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking, an Israeli-Palestinian thinktank
Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 300 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org