HEBRON – Thousands of members and leaders of Palestinian factions gathered in
Hebron on Thursday for the funeral of Maissara Abu Hamdiyeh, amid calls for a
The 63-year-old Palestinian died of cancer in an Israeli
jail on Tuesday.
Thousands of people waved the flags of several
Palestinian parties, held photos of Abu Hamdiyeh and chanted slogans about
avenging his death.
Protesters labeled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
a slaughterer and called on the factions’ armed wings to target Israeli
While waiting for the body to be brought out from the mosque, the
crowds cheered on masked members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s armed
wing, fired in the air.
Later, at the cemetery, they fired a 21-gun
“We are waiting for the green light from PA President Mahmoud
Abbas to respond to all crimes carried out by the Israeli occupation,” said one
Members of Fatah’s military wing urged the international
community to put pressure on Israel to release all Palestinians in its
“We are frustrated. I hope that a third intifada will take place,
because what was taken by force will only come back by force,” Mustafa, a
30-year-old Fatah member, told The Jerusalem Post
as he stood on a high wall
overlooking the cemetery.
Abu Hamdiyeh served 11 years in jail. His
funeral was delayed to allow time for a Palestinian-Jordanian autopsy carried
out at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, next to Jerusalem. Israel said that he
died of esophageal cancer but Palestinians believe that he suffered from poor
treatment in jail.
Palestinian Authority Minister for Prisoners Affairs
Issa Qaraqi said on Wednesday that the initial results of the autopsy confirmed
that Abu Hamdiyeh died of cancer.
The body was moved from Ahli Hospital
to the Abu Aysha mosque and was buried in a military funeral at the Martyrs
A retired member of PA’s Preventive Security Forces, Abu
Hamdiyeh was considered a leader who played an important role in the first
Several posters hung in Hebron praised him as a “leader” and a
Symbolic funerals took place in several West Bank cities and in
the Gaza Strip, where participants walked behind empty coffins.
we don’t expect Israel to be humane to our prisoners, we heard the news that
Israel was about to release him to spend his final days with his family, but we
were surprised to hear of his death,” Ahmed, a 35- year-old mourner, told the