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Violence erupts in Jerusalem after Palestinian funeral

JERUSALEM — Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Monday as they tried to disperse a crowd of stone-throwing Palestinian protesters after the funeral of a young Palestinian man who died from injuries sustained in confrontations with police last month had moved. Dozens of people were reported wounded.

Hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession for Waleed Shareef, who was pronounced dead on Saturday. Shareef suffered a serious head injury on April 22 when Israeli police fired rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

Mourners took Shareef’s body to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for prayer before heading to a cemetery outside the old city. “With our soul and blood we will redeem you, martyr,” chanted the crowd. Some people held Palestinian flags.

Israel Police said protesters threw stones, sticks and firecrackers at security forces. They released videos of protesters throwing objects at police near the cemetery and another video of stones falling on a nearby road.

Mourners carry the coffin of Palestinian man Waleed Shareef, 21, during his funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Mourners carry the coffin of Palestinian man Waleed Shareef, 21, during his funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City May 16, 2022.
AP

Police vowed to use a “steady hand” to stop violence that “turned a funeral into a runaway violent demonstration.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Rescue Service said 71 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings. Thirteen people had to be hospitalized, including two with eye injuries, it said.

Police said six officers were injured. They said 20 Palestinians were arrested, including five people suspected of attempted hit-and-run.

Mourners carry the coffin of Palestinian man Waleed Shareef, 21, during his funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Shareef suffered a serious head injury on April 22, 2022 when Israeli police fired rubber bullets at protesters.
AP

Monday’s violence came just days after police pushed and punched mourners at the Jerusalem funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent Al Jazeera journalist who was killed on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military attack in the occupied West Bank .

Shareef, 21, was injured during the April 22 violence at a contested compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, home of the Biblical temples and the holiest site in Judaism. The competing claims to the site are at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The site has repeatedly been the scene of clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators in recent weeks.

Mourners gather around the body of Palestinian Waleed Shareef, 21, during his funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Witnesses said Shareef was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
AP

Palestinian witnesses and Shareef’s family say he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, while Israeli authorities suspect he died from injuries sustained when he fell to the ground. Israeli hospital officials did not provide an exact cause of death, and the family refused to perform an autopsy.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, home of the Old City and its sensitive religious sites, in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel claims the entire city as its capital and annexed East Jerusalem in a move unrecognized internationally. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state spanning the West Bank and Gaza Strip – also conquered by Israel in 1967.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused the Jerusalem police of a “cruel and barbaric act”. Until a Palestinian state is established with East Jerusalem as its capital, there will be no peace and stability in the region.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/17/violence-erupts-in-jerusalem-following-palestinian-funeral/ Violence erupts in Jerusalem after Palestinian funeral

JACLYN DIAZ

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