Palestinians, IDF clash at funeral for slain rioter

Palestinians throw stones, Molotov cocktails and roll burning tires at IDF troops in West Bank village of Al-Ram.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 25, 2012 22:40
2 minute read.
Palestinian rioters [file]

protesters outside Ofer prison_390. (photo credit: Reuters)

Palestinian protesters burned tires and threw firebombs and stones at the IDF in the West Bank village of Al-Ram, after Saturday’s morning funeral procession for one of its residents, Talat Ramia, 25. 

The IDF fatally shot him during similar clash in Al-Ram on Friday evening. A military investigation has been opened into the incident.

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The violent demonstration marked the end of two days such protests in the West Bank, which were sparked by a violet riot Friday morning at the Temple Mount, in which 11 police officers were lightly injured and ten protesters were arrested.

In response on Friday evening, dozens of protesters threw rocks at border police and policemen and burned tires in the east Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya.

Police used stun grenades to disperse the protesters and one was arrested.

A similar riot broke out in Kalandia and Al-Ram, outside of Jerusalem.

According to an IDF spokesman, Ramia was shot during a demonstration in which a firecracker had been thrown at soldiers.

The soldier who shot him believed he was in imminent danger, said the spokesman.

Ramia was taken to Ramallah Hospital, immediately after he was shot around 7 p.m., and was pronounced dead at around 8 p.m., according to Jonathan Pollak, a spokesman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

On Saturday morning in Al-ram thousands marched next to his body, which was draped in a Palestinian flag and held aloft on a gurney.

Some 40 Palestinians were injured from tear gas inhalation and rubber bullet wounds during the violent clashes after the funeral, a Palestinian medical official said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned IDF violence against the protesters and the killing of Ramla.

He said he held the IDF fully responsible for “for this crime.” He added hat the international community’s inaction had contributed to the death.

“In the past we have warned the international community, especially the Quartet, on more than one occasion about the dangers of remaining silent vis a vis Israel’s policy of using violence against non-violent protests by our people,” he said.

An Israeli official said in response, “it appears that some Palestinian leaders believe that throwing rocks and petrol bombs is a form of peaceful protest.”

An IDF video from Saturday, shows Palestinian protesters some with masked faces hurling objects at the IDF, as smoke from burning tires billowed through the air.

Separately, on Friday, a rally was held on the Palestinian side of Hebron by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, the Hebron Defense Committee and Tarabut, the Arab-Jewish Movement for Social and Political change.

The IDF shot tear gas at the activists, lightly injuring 13, including MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash), who was wounded in the leg.

The rally marked the 18h anniversary of the February 25, 1994 Baruch Goldstein massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Protesters also called on the IDF to fully open Shuhada Street to Palestinian pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Since 2000 Palestinians have had limited access to the street, which is located on the Jewish side of Hebron.

Melanie Lidman, Khaled Abu Toameh and Reuters contributed to this report.


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