At the White House, the press secretary Jen Psaki described video footage of the clash as “deeply disturbing” and said, “We regret the intrusion into what should have been a peaceful procession.”
Israel’s regional cooperation minister, Esawi Frej, one of the first Arabs to serve as an Israeli minister, said on Twitter that the police force had “desecrated” Ms. Abu Akleh’s memory and funeral, producing “a needless flare-up.” He added: “The police showed zero respect for the mourners and zero understanding of its role as the organization that is responsible for maintaining order, not its violation.”
As the standoff escalated, Mr. Kühn von Burgsdorff, the European Union envoy to the Palestinians, tried to mediate between the police and the mourners, he said. Realizing it was impossible to persuade the police to change their mind, Ms. Abu Akleh’s brother, Anton, also asked the mourners to put the coffin in the hearse, Mr. Kühn von Burgsdorff added.
But neither side would back down, as the mourners held onto the coffin and waved Palestinian flags against the demands of the police. East Jerusalem is mostly populated by Palestinians, and most of the world views it as occupied territory — but Israel has annexed the area, considers it part of its capital, and often prevents expressions of Palestinian nationalism there.
After warning the crowd to stop chanting, unsuccessfully, and after three plastic bottles were thrown in the direction of the police, the police abruptly surged toward the mourners, video showed.
Officers swung their batons. They kicked and beat the men carrying the coffin, forcing them backward. They knocked over one man who had backed into the group carrying the coffin, then kicked him as he lay on the ground, video showed.