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
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power