Palestinians, IDF clash at funeral for slain rioter

Palestinians throw stones, Molotov cocktails and roll burning tires at IDF troops; Palestinians say 9 wounded in clashes.

February 25, 2012 17:16
2 minute read.
Palestinian rioters [file]

protesters outside Ofer prison_390. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Tensions following the death of a Palestinian who was reportedly shot near the Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah simmered on Saturday as clashes broke out between IDF troops and mourners in a funeral procession for the slain 25-year-old.

Hundreds gathered in the Palestinian village of Al-Ram southeast of Ramallah to accompany the body of Talat Ramiah, who was killed on Friday after he was shot by IDF troops.

On Saturday, the situation in Al-Ram escalated towards the end of the funeral procession, according to Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that some Palestinians mourners gathered and began throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires in the direction of IDF troops. Soldiers responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinian youths.

The IDF estimated that up to four Palestinians were lightly wounded. Ma'an put the number of wounded at nine.

Ramia died during surgery after he was shot in the chest by an IDF soldier at the Kalandia checkpoint, medics told Ma'an news agency on Friday.

Security forces used force to disperse hundreds of Muslim worshipers at the Temple Mount on Friday who rioted and threw stones following a tense week in the Old City. Eleven police officers were lightly injured and treated at the scene. Four rioters were detained though a number of additional arrests are expected over the weekend.

A number of youth barricaded themselves inside the mosque during the rioting, and dozens of police who responded to the incident used stun grenades and other riot control methods to disperse the crowd. The security forces entered the Temple Mount after police officers were attacked at the Mugrahbi Gate, one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, in order to stop the crowd from throwing more stones onto the Western Wall plaza below.

“There were a number of disturbances last week [at the Temple Mount] starting last Sunday morning,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Twenty four people were arrested over the course of the week for rock throwing episodes at the Temple Mount on Sunday. “What happened today was a continuation of tension in and around the Old City and Temple Mount due to what was put out on the internet by both right wing extremists and terrorist organizations,” said Rosenfeld.

A website called “Our Temple Mount” has publicized a number of events at the Temple Mount encouraging religious Jews to go up to the site in order to exercise Jewish sovereignty over the religious area. The site advocates for destroying any Muslim buildings in order to rebuild the Third Temple.

Arab press, including Palestinian and Jordanian newspapers, wrote a number of inflammatory articles about right-wing attempts to exert sovereignty over the Temple Mount, which incited worshipers to riot on Friday following weekly prayers.

Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.

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