Palestinians grieve in Gaza, West Bank over seven men, woman killed
SAID KHATIB (AFP)
Thousands of Palestinians attended funerals Saturday in the Gaza Strip for seven young men shot dead a day earlier by Israeli troops during fresh demonstrations along the border.
Thousands also attended the funeral held in the West Bank for Aisha Mohammed Rabi, the Palestinian woman likely killed overnight by settlers who threw stones at her as she drove with her husband near a checkpoint south of Nablus.
A strike was announced Saturday in her town of Bidya, where she was buried, with local businesses and shops closed, Haaretz reported.
Her husband said he was certain that the settlers were responsible for the incident.
"I don’t have any doubt it was the settlers. There were six or seven of them, and it was clear that they were young. In such a place and time, no young Palestinian would dare stand there. The Za'atara area [in the West Bank] is always surrounded by a military force, and so it's clear that the settlers did it," Yacoub reportedly told Haaretz on Saturday.
A relative of Aisha declared her a martyr for the Palestinian cause, which would not rest until all the settlers leave.
"This is the fate of the Palestinian people, who will pay with their blood and their land for their liberty. Umm Mohammed is another victim and another martyr on the long list, but we will not despair and we will not stop until we expel the last of the settlers from our land," said Shafik Aw-Rabi.
Mourners in Gaza, including leaders of the enclave's Islamist rulers Hamas, chanted slogans condemning Israel for shooting civilians and called on the international community to deliver justice.
The Israeli army said five Palestinians had been killed during the protests Friday after they broke through the heavily-guarded border fence and attacked an army post.
Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said around 20 Palestinians had crossed the border in an "organised attack" after an explosive device destroyed a portion of the fence.
About five of those who got through the fence assaulted an Israeli army position and were "repelled", he wrote on Twitter.
The enclave's health ministry said seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire as thousands of protesters approached the heavily-guarded Israeli border.
On Saturday, the ministry named the victims as: Ahmed al-Taweel, 27, Mohammed Ismail, 29, Ahmed Abu Naim, 17, Abdullah Daghma, 25, Afifi Atta Afifi, 18, Tamer Abu Armaneh, 25 and Mohammed Abbas, 21.
The army said approximately 15,000 "rioters and demonstrators" took part in Friday's protests.
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