NICOLA Sturgeon has condemned the “disgraceful” actions of Israeli police who beat pallbearers at the funeral of a journalist murdered by Israeli forces.

Israeli police moved in on a crowd of mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh – beating people with batons and causing pallbearers to drop her coffin.

Abu Akleh (below), 51, was a household name across the Arab world, revered for her coverage of Palestinian life under Israeli rule for the last 25 years.

She was shot dead on Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin.

The National: Shireen Abu Akleh

Journalists who were with her, including an Al Jazeera colleague who was shot and wounded, said Israeli forces fired upon them even though they were clearly identifiable as reporters.

Anger at the killing escalated on Friday when Israeli riot police pushed and beat pallbearers, causing them to briefly drop her casket in a shocking start to her funeral procession. It turned into perhaps the largest display of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation.

The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell Fontelles, issued a statement saying the bloc was “appalled” by the scenes from Abu Akleh’s funeral.

He went on: “The EU condemns the disproportionate use of force and the disrespectful behaviour by the Israeli police against the participants of the mourning procession.

“Allowing for a peaceful farewell and letting mourners grieve in peace without harassment and humiliation, is the minimal human respect.

“The EU reiterates its call for a thorough and independent investigation that clarifies all the circumstances of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death that brings those responsible for her killing to justice.”

The First Minister tweeted that she agreed “wholeheartedly” with the statement, adding: “What occurred at the funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh was disgraceful.”

Other prominent Scottish politicians including Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar condemned the Israeli police’s actions.

“This is a disgraceful and shameful act, which is surely criminal. How much hate must you have to think it’s ok to behave like this? It’s inhumane,” Sarwar wrote, sharing a video of the incident.

Yousaf said the scenes were “sickening”, and that anyone with “an iota of humanity” should condemn their actions “in the strongest possible terms.” The UN Security Council has also strongly condemned the killing, calling on Friday night for “an immediate, thorough, transparent, and fair and impartial investigation” into her death.

A press statement was approved by the 15 council members after language was removed emphasising the importance of media freedom and the need for journalists working in dangerous areas to be protected at the insistence of China and Russia, diplomats said.

Israel says it is investigating the incident. It initially suggested she might have been shot by Palestinian militants, without providing evidence, but has since backtracked.

Israel also claimed its police had been "forced to act" after people in the funeral procession began throwing missiles at officers.

The nation's police released a video showing things being thrown by protesters, but the BBC's Emir Nader reported that the incidents in the video seemed to have come after the police attacked mourners, not before.

Israel called for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank and cooperates with it on security.

But the Palestinians rejected a joint investigation and demanded an independent international investigation.

The National: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (above) blamed Israel for Abu Akleh’s killing and said he would immediately ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate. The ICC launched an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes over a year ago, a probe Israel has rejected as biased.

The Security Council did not use the word international, calling for an impartial investigation and stressing the need to ensure accountability.

Negotiations on the council statement were led by Norway, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Norway’s UN Ambassador Mona Juul commended the “good collaboration,” calling the protection of journalists a priority for her country.

“We are particularly concerned about the rising trend in attacks on media works, and on women journalists in particular,” Juul said in a statement.

Both sides are likely to cast doubt on any conclusions reached by the other, and there did not appear to be any possibility of a third party carrying out an independent probe.

Within hours of her death, the Palestinian Authority and Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately killing Ms Abu Akleh.

Israel says a full investigation is needed before any conclusions can be drawn.

The 51-year-old joined Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language service in 1997 and rose to prominence covering the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising against Israeli rule, in the early 2000s.