Palestinian dies after settler shooting

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, January 29, 2011 15:58 EDT
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HEBRON, Palestinian Territories — A Palestinian teenager shot by settlers near the southern West Bank town of Hebron died of his wounds overnight and mourners clashed with Israeli troops at his funeral on Saturday.

Yusef Ikhlil, 17, was shot in the head on Friday and taken in critical condition to Hebron’s Al-Ahly hospital where he was put on life support. He died at around midnight, Palestinian police said.

Thousands of mourners attended his funeral on Saturday, and some threw stones at a nearby Israeli army watchtower, witnesses said, adding that soldiers retaliated with tear gas.

Two mourners suffered from gas inhalation, although no major injuries were reported.

Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib condemned the killing, the second in two days of Palestinian teens by Israeli settlers.

“This is the second killing this week of an unarmed Palestinian by settlers, and the sixth killing by settlers this month,” he said in a statement.

“The Israeli government cannot evade its responsibility for these cold-blooded crimes. The killers must be brought to justice and punished.”

In the Friday shooting which killed Ikhlil, a relative, 19-year-old Murad Ikhlil, was wounded in the arm by settlers who entered their village, Beit Umar, north of Hebron.

Settler sources told AFP that the violence erupted when Palestinians began throwing stones at the settlers and then shot at them, prompting the Israelis to return fire, hitting the two Palestinians.

Police could not confirm their account, but a police spokesman said that, out of 20 settlers arrested, two remained in custody on suspicion of opening fire. The other 18 were released.

Friday’s bloodshed came a day after settlers shot dead a Palestinian teenager near the northern West Bank town of Nablus.

The Israeli military on Friday condemned both events, and said settler suspects had been detained for questioning.

“So far, a number of Israeli settlers were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the recent events,” it said, and warned both sides to keep the peace. “Action will be taken against all forms of violence on either side.”

On Thursday, 18-year-old Uday Maher Qadous, from the Palestinian village of Iraq Burin southwest of Nablus, was shot dead by a settler.

His cousin, who was with him at the time, said a group of four settlers on a nearby hilltop opened fire on them, hitting Qadous in the chest.

Israeli police said they were investigating the incident and that Qadous was shot after Palestinians began throwing stones at nearby settlers.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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