The final text merely says that "journalists should be protected as civilians" and does not mention violence during the Friday funeral for Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

According to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity, the negotiations on the text were particularly arduous.
According to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity, the negotiations on the text were particularly arduous. (Reuters)

The United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank, diplomats said.

Friday's statement, a rare case of Security Council unity on an issue related to Israel, also called for "an immediate, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation into her killing."

According to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity, the negotiations on the text were particularly arduous.

China successfully pushed the United States to remove paragraphs denouncing abuses committed against the media around the world, defending their freedom and urging their protection while covering military operations, according to diplomatic sources and different versions of the declaration obtained by AFP news agency during the discussions.

The final text merely says that "journalists should be protected as civilians" and does not mention violence during the Friday funeral for Abu Akleh.

READ MORE: US 'deeply troubled' by Israeli assault on Palestinian journalist's funeral

UN chief 'deeply disturbed'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is "deeply disturbed" by violence during the funeral procession, a spokesman said on Friday.

He "was deeply disturbed by the confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians gathered at St Joseph Hospital, and the behavior of some police present at the scene," Farhan Haq said.

Guterres "continues to urge respect for fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to peaceful assembly," Haq added.

TV footage showed pallbearers struggling to stop Abu Akleh's coffin from falling to the ground as baton-wielding Israeli police officers charged at them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners in occupied East Jerusalem.

Abu Akleh, a star journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed as she covered unrest in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Qatar-based network alleged that she was deliberately targeted by Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett initially said that armed Palestinians were "likely" responsible, but Israel has since walked back the allegation and said it was investigating.

READ MORE: Israeli police attack mourners at Shireen Abu Akleh's funeral

Source: AFP