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Palestinians welcome foreign support in inquiry into reporter’s death

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The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday it would welcome international support in the inquiry into the death of an Al Jazeera journalist, while Israel said it would investigate an eruption of violence at her funeral.

The death of veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh sparked an outpouring of grief, and Israel police charged at a crowd of Palestinian mourners carrying her coffin through Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, drawing international condemnation.

The violence, which lasted only minutes, added to Palestinian outrage over Abu Akleh’s killing, which 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 in the occupied West Bank, as an assassination by Israeli forces.

Israel initially suggested Palestinian fire might have been to blame, but officials have since said they could not rule out it was Israeli gunfire that killed her.

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

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian Authority official, said on Twitter the authority would welcome the participation of all international bodies in its inquiry.

The authority has rejected an offer from Israel, which has voiced regret over Abu Akleh’s death, to cooperate in the investigation.

Israel’s police said on Saturday it had tried “to facilitate a calm and dignified funeral... and had coordinated the funeral arrangements with her family. Unfortunately, hundreds of rioters tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm the police.”

“As with any operational incident, and certainly an incident in which police officers were exposed to violence by rioters and in which force was subsequently used by the police, the Israel Police will be looking into the events that ensued during the funeral,” a statement said.

Findings from its investigation will be presented in coming days, it added.

At a hospital in Jerusalem, a Palestinian died on Saturday of wounds inflicted during clashes with Israeli security forces three weeks ago at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

It was the first fatality from clashes at the sensitive holy site in several years.

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