IDF, Palestinians clash following teen's funeral

Palestinian media reports 5 hurt in clashes before funeral of Palestinian teen killed by Border Police after pulling out fake gun.

December 13, 2012 12:26
2 minute read.
Palestinian stone throwers in Hebron [file]

Palestinian stone throwers in Hebron after funeral 150. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)


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Clashes broke out in Hebron on Thursday ahead of the funeral of Muhammad al-Salaymeh, the Palestinian teenager killed by a Border Policewoman on Wednesday after she mistook his fake gun for a real firearm.

Army Radio reported that some 50 Palestinians threw stones at an IDF post in the city and the soldiers responded with dispersal methods.

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Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that IDF soldiers fired tear gas directly at Palestinians, injuring five, who were then evacuated to the hospital.

Security forces were placed on heightened alert in Hebron ahead of the funeral of the 17-year-old Palestinian who pulled out a fake gun and allegedly threatened an officer near the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Following the incident, dozens of Palestinians reportedly clashed with IDF troops, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers.

It has been widely reported that his brother is Awad Salima Ziyad Awad, who was arrested on December 17th 1993 and convicted of murder during a hostile act, attempted murder, throwing a Molotov cocktail, and membership in a banned organization. Awad was released in October 2011 in the first phase of the Schalit Deal.

Border police on Wednesday said that al-Salaymeh had raised the suspicion of the officers, and when they asked him for his identification card "he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the head of one of the soldiers."

A Border Police officer at the checkpoint saw what took place, fired at the youngster and critically wounded him. Later, a police sapper determined that the gun was a toy pistol made of metal.

Thursday's heightened alert follows clashes that erupted in Hebron exactly one week ago when a Palestinian mob joined Palestinian police in attacking IDF soldiers on routine patrol in the area, military sources said.

The Palestinian Authority police and the soldiers became involved in mutual pushing, and one of the Palestinian officers reportedly threw a punch.

Soldiers used stun grenades to distance the PA officers. At that stage, a 250-strong crowd rapidly formed and began rioting and throwing rocks, before being dispersed by the small IDF unit.

“This is a serious incident. It is being investigated by the army,” an IDF spokeswoman said.

Army sources said the fact that Palestinian police confronted an IDF patrol is a worrying development.

Yaakov Lappin, Benjamin Hartman and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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