Palestinian police fire tear gas at militant funeral

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Palestinian security forces in the occupied West Bank fired tear gas Wednesday as mourners attending the funeral of a Hamas militant killed by Israeli forces chanted slogans against the Palestinian Authority.

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Hundreds marched through the streets of the northern West Bank city of Nablus for the funeral of Hamas fighter Abdel Fatah Hussein Khroushah, 49, killed a day earlier along with five other Palestinians during intense fighting in an Israeli raid in Jenin.

The Israeli army said Khroushah was a “terrorist operative” suspected of killing two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara on February 26.

Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, called him a “heroic martyr.”

As mourners carried the body of Khroushah through Nablus, some shouted insulting slogans against the Palestinian security forces and other officials, calling them “prostitutes” and “spies” for Israel.

Palestinian officers fired tear gas and stun grenades, an AFP correspondent said, and the body was taken in an ambulance.

Palestinian security service spokesman Talal Dweikat said that officers had intervened when an argument broke out after “a group unrelated to the martyr’s family kidnapped the body and lowered it to the ground,” Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

“An altercation occurred while they were chanting against the (Palestinian) national authority and the security services, instead of cursing the (Israeli) occupation that committed crimes against our people,” Dweikat added.

Meanwhile in Jenin, crowds marched through the streets during the funerals of the five other Palestinians killed on Tuesday, all men in their 20s. Masked gunmen were among the thousands of mourners.

The Jenin raid was the latest in a string of deadly military operations in the Palestinian territory, which Israel has occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967.

The Israeli army and Shin Bet domestic security agency said they also carried out a separate raid Tuesday in a refugee camp in Nablus and arrested two of Khroushah’s sons “suspected of aiding and planning in the terror attack.”

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