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In Photos:
In photos: Thousands bury slain Beitin youth Saji Darwish

March 12, 2014 10:15 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2014 8:42 P.M.)

Thousands turned out for the funeral of 18-year-old Saji Darwish in the central West Bank cities of Birzeit and Beitin on Tuesday, a day after Israeli forces shot him dead near Ramallah.

The funeral procession began at the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah, where the youth's shrouded corpse was placed in an ambulance.

The march then continued through Birzeit University, where Darwish was an undergraduate student focusing in media, before continuing to his home village of Beitin.

(MaanImages/Office of Public Relations of Birzeit University)

Israeli soldiers shot and killed 18-year-old Saji Darwish near the illegal settlement outpost of Givat Assaf late Monday, after he allegedly threw stones at vehicles belonging to Israeli settlers in the area.

Darwish was the third Palestinian reported killed by Israeli forces on Monday, and three more Palestinians would be killed in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Thousands of students attended a memorial service in the center of campus for the slain youth.

Darwish is the 26th youth to be killed by Israeli forces while a student at Birzeit, according to the Birzeit University Public Relations Office.

University leaders gave speeches and religious verses were read over his body at a tomb on campus dedicated to those students who been killed by Israeli forces.

Professor Saleh Mosharaqa said in a letter to the student body that Darwish "will remain present until the end of the course, and his name will not be lost from from the registrar."

"I will call his name in every class, so he can remain with us as a symbol of a constructive and respectful generation of students, the generation of Saji Darwish."

The procession then continued to his hometown of Beitin, with the participation of dozens of cars, carrying university students, the president of the university, members of the administration, and his family members.

Darwish's relatives greeted his body at the entrance to his home village of Beitin. Large crowds met him there, where female relatives broke down weeping at the scene.

Mourners carried Palestinian flags and flags of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization, of which Darwish was a member.

The village mosque could not accommodate the mourners, who flowed into the streets of the small village.

Darwish was laid to rest after the village imam offered a eulogy over his body, praising the youth as a moral, upstanding member of the community.

The cleric also said that Darwish had memorized the Quran and was committed to his faith.
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