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Thousands attend funeral for Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers

Dec. 22, 2016 2:24 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2016 1:42 P.M.)
AL-BIREH (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians in the city of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank took part in the funeral of 19-year-old Ahmad Nashat Othman al-Kharroubi, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces earlier on Thursday during clashes in Kafr Aqab north of Jerusalem.

Al-Kharroubi, who was from al-Bireh, was critically injured when Israeli forces shot him with live ammunition in the neck. He was pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital.

The funeral set off from the Ramallah governmental hospital towards central Ramallah, before heading to al-Kharroubi’s house in the Sateh Marhaba neighborhood in al-Bireh.

His body was carried on the shoulders of mourners to Jamal Abed al-Nasser mosque in al-Bireh where prayers were held prior to the burial in al-Bireh’s cemetery.

Story continues below.

Al-Kharroubi was killed before dawn on Thursday, during clashes that erupted in Kafr Aqab in the wake of an Israeli army raid into the neighborhood to partially demolish the house of Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in October after carrying out a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem, killing one Israeli civilian and one Israeli police officer.

The Israeli army said of al-Kharroubi's killing that after Israeli forces entered the neighborhood to carry out the punitive demolition, suspects threw improvised explosive devices at Israeli soldiers, and Israeli soldiers opened fire on one of the suspects, which "resulted in his death."

According to Ma'an documentation, al-Kharroubi was the 245th Palestinian to be killed by Israelis since the beginning of a wave of unrest in October 2015, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the more than year-long time period.

The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons, however, at least 67 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or police and army raids. Less than a week ago, Israeli forces shot in the chest and killed 19-year-old Ahmad Hazem Ata al-Rimawi in the Ramallah-area village of Beit Rima during clashes.

Days earlier, a funeral was held in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron-area village of Beit Ummar, after Israeli authorities returned the body of 15-year-old Khalid Bahr, shot and killed by Israeli forces on Oct. 20 in the village, when Israeli authorities claimed Khalid was throwing rocks at soldiers. An internal Israeli army investigation later revealed that the lives of Israeli soldiers were not at risk when the 15-year-old boy was killed.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

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