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5 injured by live bullets in clashes following Birzeit funeral

Feb. 28, 2014 5:59 P.M. (Updated: March 3, 2014 12:46 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire on protesters near Birzeit on Friday, injuring five people in clashes that broke out a day after Israeli forces killed a man in his home.

Five Palestinians were injured with live bullets and dozens of others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation near the Atara checkpoint north of Birzeit.

The clashes broke out following the funeral of Muatazz Washaha, a 24-year-old man killed after Israeli forces shelled his home during a stand off early Thursday.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that "200 Palestinians instigated a riot" and "hurled rocks" near the checkpoint. As a result, she said that Israeli forces used "various riot dispersal means" against the protesters.

Clashes also broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers around Rachel's Tomb near the northern entrance to Bethlehem, as locals protested Thursday's killing.

Dozens were injured by excessive tear gas inhalation during those protests.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories could not be reached for comment on the clashes.

Earlier, thousands of Palestinians participated in the funeral procession of Muatazz Washaha.

The procession started with a military march in front of the Palestine Medical Complex before he was taken to his uncle's home near Birzeit.

Washaha's body was then carried by masked PFLP members to a local mosque, where he was laid to rest.

Mourners shouted slogans calling for an end to negotiations with Israel and revenge for crimes committed against Palestinians.

Washaha's death came as Amnesty International criticized Israel's killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank over the past three years.

AFP contributed to this report
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