Thousands of Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron today, chanting anti-Israel slogans and waving green Hamas flags during a funeral procession for a teenager killed by Israeli troops in this volatile West Bank city.
Dozens of youths clashed with Israeli soldiers throughout the day, throwing stones and bottles while troops responded with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets.
Wednesday's shooting of a 17-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Suleima, has raised tensions in Hebron, where several hundred ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers live in fortified enclaves amidst more than 180,000 Palestinians. The shooting occurred near a holy site known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. It is believed to be the place where their shared patriarch, Abraham, or Ibrahim to Muslims, bought a burial plot.
Israel's paramilitary border police said Mohammed was shot after he brandished a gun that turned out to be fake. But relatives of the youth said he was unarmed. Some 5,000 people joined today's funeral procession. "Our blood will redeem the martyr," the crowd chanted.