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Hundreds attend funeral for slain Hamas member

July 13, 2011 9:49 A.M. (Updated: July 15, 2011 1:33 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Around 800 people attended the funeral for Hamas member Ibrahim Sarhan, 21, who was killed Wednesday during a raid on a northern West Bank refugee camp.

Many waved the green flags of Hamas and chanted slogans as Sarhan was buried at the Al-Farah camp cemetery.

Hamas accused the Israeli military of deliberately delaying Sarhan's evacuation by ambulance after he was shot during a search operation and called on its supporters to join his funeral march.

"The Israeli army arrested Sarhan after wounding him ... detained him inside a home in the camp while he was bleeding and intentionally delayed handing him over to the Palestinian ambulance," the party said.

A Ma'an correspondent said Sarhan sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh during the operation and subsequently bled to death. He was pronounced dead at Rafidia Hospital early Wednesday.

Red Crescent official Adnan Al-Ghunaimi said "a long time" passed until medics were allowed access. The Israeli military says Sarhan was given initial treatment from an army medic.

Army officials have said an explosive device was hurled at troops who were in the area with the intention to arrest Sarhan and others. No soldiers were reported injured.

The soldiers first warned him verbally to surrender but opened fire because he refused, she said. "The soldiers followed standard procedure and fired at his lower body," the official told Ma'an.

It was not clear why the army intended to arrest Sarhan and seven others.

Palestinian officials said only three residents of the camp were arrested.

They were identified as Hakam Jamil, 27, Samir Al-Khatib, 22, and Mohammad Hassan Abu Al-Jawwad, 21. Ahmad Nashaat Abu Al-Hassan, 17, sustained bruises after being beaten by the soldiers.

Sarhan was close to graduating from the faculty of engineering at An-Najah University, where he supported the Islamic bloc in student senate elections, the Hamas party announced.

The killing was the first time in six months that Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian in the West Bank. The military said it could not confirm whether there would be an investigation into the incident.

AFP contributed to this report.
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