Thousands march in funeral procession of Al-kharroubi


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 at 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 neighbourhood 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. 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 neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood 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 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 characterised 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 October 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.

• Israeli forces carried out multiple raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Thursday, detaining at least 12 Palestinians including a formerly incarcerated hunger striker, and shut down a print shop in the city of Qalqiliya that the Israeli army accused of distributing ‘incitement’ materials.

Local sources said that Israeli soldiers confiscated prints and printmaking equipment from the Asayel Yafa print shop, before sealing the gates of the building and detaining its owner Saber Daoud.

Meanwhile, several Israeli military vehicles raided several houses in Qalqiliya late on Wednesday, including Daoud’s home as well as the house of Bassam Abu Shareb, local sources said. According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Daoud, 42, is a former prisoner who has spent four-and-a-half years in Israeli prisons.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in several neighbourhoods across Qalqiliya following the military raids, with no injuries reported. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed Daoud’s detention and the closure of the print shop, saying it came as part of an ‘ongoing effort against incitement’.

She said the institution was ‘suspected of distributing incitement materials’ without providing further details. She did not confirm reports of the clashes. In recent months, Israel has targeted Palestinian media institutions and civilians, including activists and journalists, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015 was encouraged largely by ‘incitement’.

In raids in the northern district of Tulkarem, Israeli forces detained five Palestinians, identified by PPS as Sanad Riyad Zuhdi Abu Shanab, 18, brothers Ahmad and Adham Dares al-Jayyusi, Fawwaz Rashid al-Jayyusi, and Tareq Muhammad Abu Laimun.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions in the Tulkarem district – one in Dhinnaba and one in Kur. From the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank, Israeli forces detained Zaid Majed Muhammad al-Jubeh, 23, in Hebron City and Ahmad Abu Judeh in nearby Yatta, according to PPS.

Israeli forces also raided and searched houses in the village of Beit Kahel north of Hebron City. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed a detention was made in the city of Hebron and said another was carried out in the nearby village of Beit Ummar.

Israeli authorities also briefly detained former prisoner and famed hunger striker Muhammad Allan in the village of Einabus in the northern Nablus district. Locals said that Israeli forces raided Allan’s house at 3am on Thursday.

He was taken to the Huwwara military camp in southern Nablus and was released hours later after being interrogated. Allan had rejected a notice to meet with Israeli intelligence several days prior, according to the sources.

Allan was released from Israeli custody several months ago after a 66-day hunger strike in protest at being imprisoned by Israel without trial or charge. In cases of high-profile hunger strikes against administrative detention, Israeli authorities will agree to release prisoners, often waiting until the 11th hour when detainees are expected to die at any moment. However, as in the case with Allan, many former hunger strikers are re-detained after their release.

According to the Israeli army spokesperson, another detention was made in the Nablus district in Balata refugee camp. She also informed Ma’an another Palestinian was detained in the Jerusalem district village of Qatanna. Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October, including some 720 under administrative detention. The organisation estimates that 40 per cent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.