Clashes after funeral of Palestinian shot by Israeli forces
Around 50 youths threw stones at soldiers, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas in Hebron
Clashes broke out Wednesday between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Hebron following the funeral of a young woman shot dead after allegedly trying to stab a soldier.
Around 50 youths threw stones at soldiers, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas in the flashpoint city, where some 500 Israeli settlers live under heavy guard among Palestinians.
The clashes followed the funeral of 18-year-old student Hadeel al-Hashlamon, who died after being shot by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint on Tuesday.
Several thousand people joined the funeral procession, carrying photos of her with her face completely veiled, as well as Palestinian flags.
The military said she was shot while attempting to stab a soldier, but her father, Salaheddin al-Hashlamon, said she was innocent and had been killed “in cold blood” by multiple shots.
Her death followed that of another Palestinian who was killed in a village outside Hebron by an explosive device he intended to toss at a military vehicle, the army said. Residents provided a similar account.
But Palestinian security officials said the man, whom they identified as Dia al-Talahmeh, 21, was shot dead by Israeli troops.
Their deaths came amid high tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem following clashes last week at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and with the convergence of the Jewish Yom Kippur and Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays.
Jerusalem has been placed under tight security, with thousands of Israeli police deployed and checkpoints between the city and the West Bank closed, as is usual for Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur began at sundown Tuesday and ends at sundown Wednesday. Eid al-Adha begins on Wednesday evening and continues until Sunday.
Next week, Jews celebrate Sukkot, a holiday that usually leads to an increase in visits to the Al-Aqsa compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount. It is the third-holiest site for Muslims and the most sacred site in Judaism.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned Tuesday of the risk of a new intifada, or uprising, if the volatility at the Al-Aqsa compound worsens.
A U.N. this week said “the absence of a political process and the rise of violent extremism and terrorism in the region present a danger as much to the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for statehood, as to the security of Israel.”
Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill for more than a year.
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