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Thousands attend funeral for Qalandia victims

Aug. 26, 2013 3:33 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2013 12:07 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Thousands of mourners on Monday attended the funeral of three Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces overnight.

After funeral prayers were said, the bodies of the three men were carried to a cemetery in the camp.

Robin al-Abed, 32, was shot in the chest and died instantly, medics said. Younis Jihad Abu al-Sheikh Jahjouh, 22, was also shot dead.

Jihad Asslan, 20, died Monday morning from his injuries after being pronounced brain dead at a Ramallah hospital.

Al-Abed's mother collapsed upon seeing her son's body. He was reportedly on his way to work in a UN office in the camp when he was shot dead.

A number of gunmen fired into the air while shouting slogans against the killings and calling for revenge.

Clashes broke out at Qalandia checkpoint following the funeral, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces near the military checkpoint.

Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators.

The killing of the three men has been widely condemned by Palestinian officials and peace talks planned for Monday in Jericho have been canceled as a result of the deaths.

"The meeting that was to take place in Jericho...today was cancelled because of the Israeli crime committed in Qalandia today," an official told AFP

Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah strongly condemned the incident, calling it a crime against the Palestinian people.

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Israel's incursion into the camp.

"Israel's use of excessive and indiscriminate violence and live ammunition in densely populated civilian areas represents a blatant violation of international and humanitarian law."

"We call on the members of the United Nations Security Council, the Quartet and the rest of the international community to take serious measures to bring an immediate end to the killing of innocent civilians and to terminate Israel’s impunity," she added.

An Israeli police spokeswoman said that border police used "riot dispersal means" to disperse a stone-throwing crowd of 1,500 people, but she could not immediately confirm any fatalities or the use of live fire.

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