Friday, 10 April 2015

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian dead at his cousin's funeral

A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Friday at the funeral for his cousin in the town of Beit Ummar near Hebron.

Ziyad Awad, 27, was killed by Israeli forces and thirteen others injured when soldiers opened fire on mourners at the funeral of Jaafar Awad, 22, who died at 2:45 a.m. Friday morning from health complications that rapidly deteriorated while being held in Israeli prison.

Medical sources told Ma'an that Jaafar had succumbed to the illness at the al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron.

Three Palestinians were injured with live fire while 10 others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. Dozens of other funeral attendees suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation.

Awad's funeral was held after Friday prayers, and was followed by tense clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces. Soldiers are permanently stationed at a checkpoint to the town, which is located near the main Bethlehem-Hebron road.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that a "violent riot" had broken out in Beit Ummar in which locals "hurled rocks and molotov cocktails" and "rolled burning tires" at Israeli soldiers.

"Feeling an immediate threat, soldiers used riot dispersal means" against the crowd, but "the rioters refused to halt."

As a result, soldiers "fired at instigators at their lower extremities with .22 caliber bullets." She said that four "hits" were confirmed. more

Fatah leader calls for armed Palestinian mobilization to save Yarmouk

A top Fatah official on Friday called upon party members in Lebanon and Syria to arm themselves to fight the Islamic State group which has recently seized the Damascus-area Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.

Major-General Tawfiq al-Tirawi told Ma'an that "the suffering of Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp should be ended, and they should be protected from terrorist groups like IS, al-Nusra Front and others."

He called upon Palestinian fighters in Syria and Lebanon to head to the Yarmouk refugee camp to fight these groups.

Al-Tirawi said that Palestinian refugee camps are neutral in the Syrian internal conflict but that some "terrorist groups" are attempting to push Palestinians into ongoing events.

Al-Tirawi's call for mobilization is one of the first major calls by a Palestinian leader for an armed response to aggression against the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Palestinians have generally struggled to maintain their neutrality in what they consider an "internal" conflict.

Before the conflict broke out in 2011, around 500,000 Palestinians lived in Syria, descendants of those who were expelled from their homes by Israel in 1948 and forbidden from returning. more