Violence erupts between Israeli occupation police and protestors following Palestinian funeral

The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 37 Palestinians were wounded from rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings

Israeli occupation police fired tear gas and rubber bullets Monday as they tried to disperse crowds of stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators following the funeral of a young Palestinian man who died from injuries sustained during confrontations with police last month. Dozens of people were reported wounded.

Hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession for Waleed Shareef, who was pronounced dead Saturday. Shareef suffered a serious head injury April 22 as Israeli police fired rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

Mourners took Shareef’s body for prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque before proceeding to a cemetery outside the Old City. With our souls and blood, we will redeem you, martyr, the crowd chanted. Some people held Palestinian flags.

The occupation police vowed to use a firm hand to stop violence that turned a funeral into an out-of-control demonstration of violence.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 37 Palestinians were wounded from rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings. Ten people required hospitalisation, including two with eye injuries, it said. Police said a number of officers were lightly hurt.

Monday’s violence came just days after police pushed and beat mourners at the Jerusalem funeral for Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed Wednesday while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.

Shareef, 21, was injured during violence April 22 at a contested compound that is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, and revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, home to the biblical Temples and the holiest site in Judaism. The competing claims to the site lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The compound has been the site of repeated confrontations between Israeli occupation police and Palestinian demonstrators in recent weeks.

Palestinian witnesses and Shareef’s family say he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, while Israeli authorities have suggested he died from injuries sustained when he fell on the ground. Israeli hospital officials did not give a precise cause of death, and the family refused to conduct an autopsy.

Israel claims all of the city as its capital and annexed east Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, home to the Old City and its sensitive religious sites, in the 1967 Mideast war.

Arab Observer

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