Palestinians, IDF clash after protester’s death

Talat Ramia killed in A-Ram demonstration following violent confrontations on Temple Mount.

February 26, 2012 00:54
2 minute read.
Palestinian rioters [file]

protesters outside Ofer prison_390. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Palestinian protesters burned tires and threw firebombs and stones at the IDF in the West Bank village of A-Ram on Saturday after a funeral procession there for one of its residents, Talat Ramia, 25.

The IDF fatally shot Ramia during a similar clash in A-Ram on Friday evening. That violence was sparked by a riot Friday morning on the Temple Mount, where 11 police officers were lightly injured and 10 protesters were arrested.

A military investigation of the shooting has been opened.

Also on Friday evening, dozens of protesters threw rocks at border police and policemen and burned tires in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya. Police used stun grenades to disperse the protesters, one of whom was arrested.

A similar riot broke out in Kalandiya, near A-Ram.

According to an IDF spokesman, Ramia was shot during a demonstration in which a firecracker had been thrown at soldiers. The soldier who fired the shot believed he was in imminent danger, the spokesman said.

Ramia was taken to Ramallah Hospital at about 7 p.m., immediately after he was shot, 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 A-Ram, thousands marched next to his body, which was draped in a Palestinian flag and held aloft.

Some 40 Palestinians suffered from tear-gas inhalation and rubber-bullet wounds during the violent clashes after the funeral, according to a Palestinian medical official.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the IDF and said he held it fully responsible for “for this crime.” He added that the world’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 visa- 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 soldiers 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 fired tear gas canisters at the activists, lightly wounding 13, including MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash), who suffered a leg injury.

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

Protesters also called on the IDF to fully open Hebron’s Shuhada Street to Palestinian pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Since 2000, Palestinians have had limited access to the street, which is located on the Israeli side of Hebron.

Melanie Lidman and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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