Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed during a funeral procession for a Palestinian teenager who died after being shot at a protest marking “Naqba” – or catastrophe – the Palestinian “mourning” of the anniversary of Israel’s creation.
Witnesses say Palestinians threw stones at Israeli police who responded with tear gas during Saturday’s confrontation in East Jerusalem.
Israel had heightened security before hundreds of mourners turned out for the youth’s funeral, in anticipation of unrest leading up to Sunday’s commemoration of Naqba. Palestinians had begun holding demonstrations Friday. Some activists urged Palestinians to use the occasion to ignite another “intifada” – or uprising – against Israel.
Relatives of the youth, who was described as being 16 or 17, say he was shot by a Jewish settler during a protest Friday and died of his injuries on Saturday. Israeli police say it is not clear who shot the youth.
More than 700,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled or been forced to leave their homes during the war that followed Israel’s declaration of statehood in 1948.
Israel – which uses the Hebrew calendar – celebrated its 63rd anniversary on Tuesday.