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Thousands Attend Funeral For Palestinian Accused Of Stabbing Israeli Soldier

Published on 26 April 2015, by M. Tomazy.
Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of Mahmoud Abu Jheisha on Sunday, after the 20-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces outside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron when he allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier.

The funeral procession began at the Amari Mosque in Abu Jheisha's hometown of Idhna, west of Hebron, where family and friends paid their final respects, before he was taken to be buried in the town cemetery.

Participants reportedly chanted slogans condemning Israeli crimes and calling for an end to Israeli practices as part of the occupation.

Abu Jheisha was shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Witnesses told Ma'an that he stabbed the soldiers a number of times before Israeli forces shot him dead.
The Israeli soldier, who was moved to a Jerusalem hospital, received stab wounds in his head and chest, and his condition was described as moderate.

Speaking at the funeral, Abu Jheisha's father Yahya denied that his son had stabbed the soldier, saying that his son had left home on Saturday to pray in the Ibrahimi Mosque.

He added that his family had been shocked to see photos of their son published in the media, and he called on the Palestinian authorities to bring his son's death to the International Criminal Court.
Abu Jheisha was not carrying personal documents at the time of his death, and he was only identified late last night, after early reports mistakenly identified him as Assad al-Salayma.

AFP reported that Israeli soldiers had been preventing Palestinians from accessing the mosque when the incident took place.

The Ibrahimi Mosque, which is believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is of religious significance to both Muslims and Jews, and has historically been a flashpoint between Palestinians and Israelis, particularly after a Brooklyn-born Jewish settler massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994.

Around 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the city center of Hebron, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.

The settlements -- illegal under international law -- are protected by the Israeli army in the tightly controlled city, where many streets are off limits to Palestinians.
Saturday's incident came a day after a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed in East Jerusalem when he allegedly ran toward Israeli police officers "wielding" a knife.

It shortly preceded another alleged attack in East Jerusalem, when Israeli police claim a Palestinian rammed his car into a group of Israeli officers, injuring four.

There have been a spate of attacks on Israeli military and civilians in recent months, largely in the wake of Israeli activities across the occupied Palestinian Territories, including last summer's offensive on Gaza which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

In the six months to the end of February, the UN reported that 17 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while 10 Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks.

Thousands of Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in the same period.
Source: Ma'an News