Palestinians clash with IDF at funeral of activist

Hundreds of Palestinians throw stones at soldiers after West Bank funeral of protester who was shot with rubber bullet by IDF.

March 8, 2013 15:30
1 minute read.
Palestinian man cries at funeral of  Muhammad Asfour, March 8, 2013.

Palestinian man cries at funeral of Muhammad Asfour 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Palestinians clashed with IDF soldiers in the village Aboud northwest of Ramallah on Friday afternoon at the funeral of Muhammad Asfour, who was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet by the IDF two weeks ago in the course of a protest, the IDF confirmed.

About a thousand people attended the funeral. After most attendees dispersed, about a hundred Palestinians started throwing stones at IDF forces, who responded with riot dispersal means.

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Abir Kopty of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee wrote on her Twitter that IDF forces were firing tear gas at rioters and that one man was evacuated to hospital after suffocating from the tear gas. The IDF spokesman could not at this time confirm this.

The 22-year-old was wounded at the protest in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, he was taken to a medical center in Nablus. But because his condition was critical he was transferred to Ichilov Hospital at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

He died on Thursday, two days before his 23rd birthday.

Asfour was a fourth-year physical education student at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. He had been a member of his village’s soccer team.

According to Kopty, Asfour is the fifth Palestinian the army has fatally shot in the West Bank in 2013.

The IDF told The Jerusalem Post that it had opened an investigation into the incident upon hearing of Asfour’s death. It explained that on February 22, a violent and illegal demonstration took place northwest of Ramallah, in which scores of Palestinians threw stones at security personnel, who responded with riot dispersal means. The IDF only received a report that Asfour had been wounded days later, it said.

Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Tomeh contributed to this report.

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