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State funeral service for the killed Al Jazeera journalist will take place at the presidential compound in Ramallah.
Ramallah, occupied West Bank – A state funeral service for the murdered Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is expected to begin shortly in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
The ceremony will begin as her body leaves the Istishari Hospital in the occupied West Bank city on Thursday morning. Her body will be taken to the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) presidential compound, where President Mahmoud Abbas will honor her and bid her farewell.
A military service will then be held for Abu Akleh at the compound.
After the service, Abu Akleh’s body will be taken in a convoy to the St Louis French Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah, in occupied East Jerusalem, where her family lives.
Abu Akleh’s burial is expected to take place on Friday in occupied East Jerusalem.
Journalists and mourners began gathering on Thursday morning at the hospital in preparation for the ceremony.
On Wednesday, Abu Akleh was honored in several Palestinian cities, such as Jenin, where she was killed, Nablus, and Ramallah, as her body was brought to the city. Several protests were held, with hundreds of Palestinians.
Witness, including Al Jazeeras, said that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces during coverage of a raid in the vicinity of Abu Akleh, denying initial Israeli claims that Palestinian fighters were likely responsible, and that word were taking place in the vicinity of Abu Akleh and her crew, who were clearly marked as members of the press.
Ali Samoudi, an Al Jazeera Israeli journalist who was also shot, said that forces had fired at Abu Akleh.
Israel now appears to be walking back some of its initial claims after government officials, including the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, claimed that a video appearing to show Palestinian fighters firing in a Jenin alleyway was evidence that Palestinians had killed Abu Akleh.
Verification efforts have shown that the alleyway was not the area where Abu Akleh was shot.
Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, has now said that it is unclear who shot Abu Akleh.
Abu Akleh was a well-known and respected television correspondent across Palestine and the wider Arab world, having joined Al Jazeera in 1997, a year after the network was launched.
The 51 year old Palestinian-American native of Jerusalem reported from across the Palestinian occupied territories and the wider region.