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5 Palestinians hurt as Israeli troops fire at funeral near Hebron

Dec. 22, 2012 7:21 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 24, 2012 2:47 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli soldiers opened fire and injured five young Palestinian men Saturday north of Hebron in the southern West Bank as clashes erupted when soldiers attacked a funeral procession.

Muhammad Ayyad Awad, a spokesman of a local popular committee against the wall and settlements, said hundreds of residents took part in a funeral procession of Ahmad Ibrahim Salim Adi in Beit Ummar.

The deceased, aged 44, was found dead Friday in an ancient well about two months after he disappeared. He was reported missing in October.

Awad added that when the mourners arrived at the cemetery near the main street, Israeli soldiers stationed at the town’s northern entrance started to fire tear-gas canisters at them. After that, young men threw stones at the soldiers who fired live bullets and rubber-coated bullets.

Omar Mahmoud Awad was hit by a live bullet to the thigh, and Nizar Ali Awad received a gunshot to his lower back, according to Awad. They were evacuated to a public hospital in Hebron.

Three other young men were hit by rubber-coated bullets and were also evacuated to a Hebron hospital, added Awad.

An Israeli soldier was hit by a stone in the head during confrontations, according to Awad.

An Israeli army spokesman said some 300 Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces who responded with riot-dispersal means.

Asked if that included live fire, the spokesman said that soldiers fired live bullets toward "one of the main rioters," and he was evacuated by the Red Crescent.

The spokesman confirmed that a soldier was also injured.
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