Tense West Bank funeral for ‘hero’ who died in Israeli jail

Thousands of mourners gather for funeral as militants threaten to begin a ‘third intifada’

Thousands of mourners gathered in the West Bank today for the funeral of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian man who died in an Israeli jail under disputed circumstances.

The case has heightened tensions, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of causing “chaos” in the West Bank by intentionally killing Palestinians.

More than 10,000 mourners joined the funeral procession for Mr Jaradat, who died on Saturday after interrogation in Megiddo Prison. The 30-year-old was buried in his home village of Si’ir, near Hebron, his body draped in a Palestinian flag.

Palestinian officials say he was tortured, but Israeli pathologists said they were waiting for test results to determine the cause of death. They said bruising and damage to Mr Jaradat’s ribs observed during a post-mortem on Sunday were consistent with attempts to resuscitate him after an apparent heart attack.

Mass protests over Mr Jaradat’s death continued in the West Bank today, after Palestinian officials called for an international inquiry.

“Israel is killing our children with live fire,” Mr Abbas said today. “We won’t let Israel create chaos in the West Bank… no matter how hard they try to drag us into their schemes, we will not be dragged.”

Israel rejected the charge, accusing Mr Abbas of encouraging unrest. In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned his security chiefs for emergency consultations and placed Israeli forces in the West Bank on maximum alert after the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military wing of Mr Abbas’s Fatah movement, threatened to avenge Mr Jaradat’s death with a “third intifada” uprising.

At the funeral, mourners chanted “we sacrifice our souls and blood for you, our martyr” as masked gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Brigades, making their first public appearance for several years, fired in the air.

After the ceremony, some youths began throwing stones at Israeli troops but fears of widespread clashes failed to materialise. Israeli forces – apparently under orders not to use lethal force – responded with teargas and rubber bullets.

Adding to the tension, Monday was also the 19th anniversary of the killing of 29 Muslim worshippers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron by Israeli gunman Baruch Goldstein.

“We are not planning an intifada, but Israeli policy is only fanning the flames at the moment,” said Nabil Sha’ath, a senior Fatah official. “If Israel continues this way, the entire region is liable to become involved in a dangerous spiral.”

But Yitzhak Aharonovich, Israel’s Minister for Public Security, said responsibility for the growing unrest lay squarely with the Palestinian leadership. “Israel is also taking its own actions but they must calm things down, first and foremost because it won’t be good for the Palestinians,” he said.

Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defence Ministry official, warned Palestinian leaders that by encouraging popular protests they could end up triggering violence.

“The Palestinian Authority is apparently trying to walk a fine line,” he said. “The problem is … you never know when things will get out of control.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy