Funeral mourners call for a 'fight to the end'

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The Independent Online

Palestinian mourners shouting anti-Israeli slogans marched through the packed West Bank streets of Jenin yesterday at a funeral for five Palestinians killed in one of the deadliest attacks since the fighting began in September.

Palestinian mourners shouting anti-Israeli slogans marched through the packed West Bank streets of Jenin yesterday at a funeral for five Palestinians killed in one of the deadliest attacks since the fighting began in September.

Israel intensified its clampdown around Palestinian towns, further restricting travel, and a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was seriously injured after being shot in the abdomen by a Jewish settler near Hebron, in the West Bank.

The deaths of 10 people on Friday - seven Palestinians and three Israelis - raised fears of retaliatory violence yesterday, but heavy rain and cold weather in many areas kept crowds off the streets, and only small-scale clashes were reported.

But in Jenin thousands of people turned out to escort the coffins of the four policemen and a civilian killed on Friday when an Israeli tank fired on a police guard post.

"Fight, fight, until the end of the Israeli occupation," chanted the crowd. Some wore masks and carried guns. Others waved Palestinian flags. Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Palestinian information minister, said Friday's attack was a "deliberate step to escalate ... Israeli aggression in order to serve political objectives".

The Israeli army said the tank fired after soldiers saw four armed figures in the distance. Mohammed Hijazi, a policeman who was near the attack, said the Israelis fired without provocation.

More than 300 people, most Palestinian, have been killed since the violence erupted 10 weeks ago.

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