Thousands Mourn 2 Palestinian Teens Killed by Israeli Troops on West Bank

Protesters Angered by Death of Prisoner

Wave of Unrest: Palestinian students protest the death of a prisoner in Israeli captivity. Two teenagers were killed in demonstrations across the West Bank.
getty images
Wave of Unrest: Palestinian students protest the death of a prisoner in Israeli captivity. Two teenagers were killed in demonstrations across the West Bank.

By Reuters

Published April 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Thousands of mourners turned out on Thursday for the funerals of three Palestinians, including two teenagers killed by Israeli army gunfire in some of the worst violence in the occupied West Bank in years.

The upsurge in unrest was triggered on Tuesday by the death of Maysara Abu Hamdeya, a 64-year-old prisoner serving a life term in an Israeli jail and suffering from cancer.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of delaying treatment for Hamdeya and gave him full military honours at a funeral on Thursday in Hebron, where masked gunmen fired into the air as his body arrived at a mosque in the divided West Bank city.

In the wave of disturbances that followed his death, four Palestinian youths threw firebombs at an Israeli checkpoint near Tulkarm in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, the army said.

Soldiers returned fire and killed two teenagers from the nearby town of Anabta - Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Belbisi, 18.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel’s use of lethal force showed that it wanted to “provoke chaos” in the Palestinian Territories and avoid any moves toward a peace deal.

The wave of violence erupted two weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama paid his first official visit to the region, urging the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume long-stalled peace talks but offering no initiative to break the deadlock.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to travel to Jerusalem again next week to review the stalemate.

NINE DEAD

The United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Israeli forces had killed nine Palestinians, most of them in clashes in the West Bank, so far this year, compared with three in the same period in 2012.

The bodies of Nassar and Belbisi, their blood-stained faces clearly visible, were carried on stretchers through the packed streets of Anabta, held aloft by uniformed members of the Palestinian security forces.

“O martyrs rest, rest. We will continue the struggle,” the crowds chanted as the lifeless teenagers passed by.

Israeli officials urged Palestinian leaders to push for calm, and dismissed suggestions that a third uprising, or Intifada, was brewing in the West Bank - territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which is now home to more than 340,000 Jewish settlers.

“The term ‘Third Intifada’ is meant to describe a general breakdown and uprising … There are no powers there pushing for a third Intifada or general uprising,” senior defence official Amos Gilad told Israel Radio.

Underscoring the potential for more violence, the Israeli army said that for a third straight day, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel on Thursday. No casualties or damage were reported.

Following initial rocket fire on Tuesday, Israeli jets carried out their first air strike on Gaza since a truce ended several days of fighting in November.

An al Qaeda-linked group, Magles Shoura al-Mujahadeen, claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, saying it was responding to the death of Hamdeya.

Israel says Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement bears overall responsibility for any rocket fire and has urged Egypt, which helped broker the November truce, to use its influence with the Islamist group.

“The Egyptians are very active. Dialogue with them is constant and their interest is in keeping stability and preventing firing, violence and terrorism,” Gilad said.

For the second time this year, the death of a Palestinian prisoner has sparked widespread anti-Israeli disturbances.

In February, Arafat Jaradat, 30, died after an interrogation session. Palestinian officials said he had been tortured, an allegation Israel denied.

Palestinians say Hamdeya complained of feeling sick last August, but was only discovered to be suffering from cancer in January. They say he did not receive adequate treatment and should have been released because of the gravity of the illness.

Israelis said Hamdeya, serving a life term for attempted murder after sending a suicide bomber to a Jerusalem cafe, was a heavy smoker and had received adequate care.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.