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Thousands attend funeral of 3 Jerusalem attackers in West Bank

Feb. 5, 2016 7:29 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 6, 2016 11:37 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Thousands attended the funeral of three Palestinians who were killed after a shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Friday evening, as they were laid to rest in their hometown of Qabatiya.

Qabatiya residents Ahmad Rajeh Ismail Zakarneh, Muhammad Ahmad Hilmi Kamil, and Najeh Ibrahim Abu al-Rub, all in their early 20s, were shot dead on Wednesday after carrying out an attack on Israeli border police at the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

They killed one Israeli officer and left another injured in moderate condition.

Thousands of locals and residents from nearby villages attended the funeral, as the bodies were taken to the local mosque before being buried in the town’s cemetery near the grave of Ahmad Awad Abu al-Rub, a friend of the three youths who had previously been killed by Israeli forces.

Zakarneh, Kamil and Abu al-Rub had wanted to take revenge for their friend’s death, locals said.

Israeli forces returned the bodies of the three Palestinians youths on Friday afternoon, handing them over at the Salim crossing west of Jenin on Friday. They were then taken to Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, before being transferred to Qabatiya.

Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said his office was working around the clock to lift the siege on Qabatiya.

Israeli forces maintained a closed military zone on Qabatiya on Thursday, reportedly preventing all entrances and exits to and from the Jenin-district town, which counts more than 20,000 inhabitants, except for humanitarian cases.

The closure was initially implemented on Wednesday evening, hours after the three carried out the attack in Jerusalem.

At least 13 cases were reported of residents of Qabatiya being injured by live bullets Israeli forces in clashes since the town was first sealed. A 15-year-old boy was also critically injured after being run over by a military jeep.

Nine Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas at Qabatiya residents on Friday.

Medical sources said three were injured by live fire aimed at their feet and were taken to the hospital in Jenin for treatment in a moderate condition. They were identified as Yousif Ali Asous, Ihab Maher Kamil, and Muhammad Kamal Zakarneh.

Six others suffered from tear gas inhalation and were taken to hospital for treatment.
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