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Israeli forces remove memorial stone dedicated to slain Palestinian in Abu Dis

Dec. 31, 2016 9:50 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2016 10:04 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Friday removed a stone memorial dedicated to slain Palestinian Mazin Hasan Ureiba set up by the family in the town of Abu Dis in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, claiming that the monument was a form of “incitement.”

Ureiba, an officer in the Palestinian Authority general intelligence service and a father of four, was shot dead by Israeli forces on Dec. 3, 2015 after opening fire on Israeli soldiers stationed at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem in the West Bank.

Bassam Bahr, head of the Abu Dis Committee for Defending Lands and Resisting Settlements, told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided Abu Dis and removed the monument, which had been installed to memorialize Ureiba and his mother, and also served as Sadaqah (charity) by providing running water to passersby.

Bahr added that Israeli soldiers used hand tools to remove and break apart the memorial stone, before hanging up a paper which stated that the memorial was removed for “incitement and immortalizing the martyr,” and also stated that the decision to remove the memorial was made by an Israeli military leader in the area.

Israeli authorities had issued an order several days ago demanding the removal of the memorial stone.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that she would look into reports on the incident.

According to Ma'an documentation, Ureiba was among the 246 Palestinians to have been killed by Israelis in a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel which began in October 2015.

Meanwhile, 34 Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

In recent months, Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians for alleged “incitement,” alleging that the unrest that erupted last year was encouraged largely by “incitement” among Palestinians, particularly during funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and for social media activity.

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons for the social unrest.

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