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Palestine police fire tear gas at funeral of fighter killed by Israel

Palestine’s security forces have fired tear gas canisters and flash grenades at angry protesters during a funeral for a fighter in the Israel-occupied West Bank.

Palestinians gathered in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday for the funeral of Abdul Fattah Kharushah, a 49-year-old fighter killed when the Israeli army stormed Jenin city on Tuesday.

It was the latest bloody incursion into the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp, where the Israeli army also killed five other Palestinians and wounded over two dozen.

Wednesday’s funeral procession through Nablus spiralled into chaos after the mourners began to chant against the Palestinian Authority [PA], which exercises limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank.

The PA has long drawn resentment for its security cooperation with Israel, which allows its security forces to crack down on its rival, Hamas group.

“Traitors!” the crowds shouted at the Palestinian security forces. “Spies!”

READ MORE: Israeli army storms West Bank’s Jenin city, kills six Palestinians

According to Palestine’s security spokesperson Talal Dweikat, Palestinian forces intervened when a group of Hamas supporters interrupted the procession and grabbed the shrouded body, almost dropping it. The group turned the funeral into a protest against the PA, Dweikat said, “instead of cursing the [Israeli] occupation that has committed crimes against our people.”

Palestine’s security forces unleashed tear gas on the crowds, sending mourners running in all directions, and returned Kharushah’s body to the ambulance.

They also prevented anyone from raising Hamas flags, even as Kharushah’s body remained covered in one. There were no reports of casualties.

Fatah, which dominates PA delivered its own condemnation of Wednesday’s mayhem, accusing Hamas of “sedition” and “creating strife” at a funeral that opened with a military salute and should have been a unifying occasion.

READ MORE: Palestinians turn to night patrols to stave off attacks by Israeli settlers

Illegal settlers target Palestinian activist

Already this year, Israeli military has killed at least 74 Palestinians, about 13 of them children, according to Palestine’s Health Ministry. 

Palestinian reprisals against Israelis have killed 14 people, all but one of them civilians.

Violence against Palestinians has also surged in the occupied West Bank, with a mob of illegal Jewish settlers attacking Hawara village, torching homes and cars and killing a Palestinian civilian — the worst such rampage in recent memory.

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, prominent Palestinian activist Issa Amro said on Wednesday that Israeli illegal settlers attacked his house, hurling wine bottles, breaking into his backyard and overturning chairs and tables.

A video of the incident appeared to show Israeli soldiers initially standing by and watching the illegal settlers bombard Amro’s house with stones.

The Israeli army described the video as “partial” and said soldiers had arrested the illegal settlers for further questioning.

READ MORE: US blasts Israeli minister over call to ‘erase’ village in Palestine

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