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Mourners attend Palestinian state service for slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

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Mourners attend Palestinian state service for slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) stands by the flag-wrapped coffin of Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a state funeral at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday. Photo by Mohammad Tamim/UPI | License Photo

May 12 (UPI) -- Thousands gathered Thursday in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to attend the official state service for slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The ceremony took place at the Palestinian Authority's presidential compound.

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Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead Wednesday while reporting on an Israeli raid on a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

Fellow reporters also on the scene said Israeli forces opened fire on the group of journalists and that no Palestinian fighters were present at the time. Israeli officials, though, said she was caught in crossfire between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at Thursday's ceremony, saying Israel was "fully responsible" for Abu Akleh's death. He said he plans to seek justice with the International Criminal Court, Al Jazeera reported.

"We reject the joint investigation with Israel into the killing of Abu Akleh," he said.

Thursday's ceremony began with a procession with Abu Akleh's body from Istishari Hospital to the presidential compound. After the event, a convoy transported her body to St. Louis French Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, where it'll stay until Friday's funeral.

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Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli police obstructed the funeral convoy on its way to East Jerusalem.

The outlet said Israeli officials stopped the convoy after the Qalandia checkpoint and detained Fatah activist Shadi Matour. They also briefly held Walid al-Omari, Al Jazeera bureau chief in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

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