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Anger and doubt as hundreds march in Hijazi funeral

Oct. 31, 2014 1:09 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2014 10:40 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Around 300 Palestinians took part in the funeral of Mutaz Hijazi, 32, late Thursday, despite an Israeli court order that mandated that only 45 would be allowed to participate.

The high participation in the nighttime funeral, held after Israeli forces returned his body after allegedly confiscating it from an ambulance the day before, reflected widespread anger in the neighborhood of al-Thawri in Silwan where Hijazi lived.

Hijazi was killed early Thursday by Israeli forces who said he was a suspect in the shooting of right-wing Jewish activist Yehuda Glick. But the killing during what was presumably an arrest raid has raised tensions across Jerusalem and outraged many Palestinians, many of whom saw it as an extrajudicial killing.

Hijazi's mother told Ma'an that she last saw her son Wednesday afternoon before he went to work and that she was in the nearby city of al-Eizariya when she heard the news that the al-Thawri neighborhood where they lived had been shut by police.

"I walked all the way from Damascus Gate until I was home," she said. "I saw Israeli forces surrounding our house and we did not know any information about Mutaz until he was taken in the Red Crescent ambulance."

"We entered the house and saw that it was ravaged inside and that there was a strong smell of smoke. I did not know what happened but apparently Mutaz fled to the rooftop to hide and they (Israeli forces) chased and killed him."

Hijazi's mother added that her son was detained when he was 17 years old for "participating in intifada activities" and that he was first sentenced to six years and held in solitary confinement before his detentions was renewed for another three years, and then another two. “

"He spent 10 years in solitary confinement," she added.

"Why did not they detain and interrogate him? Why did they deliberately shoot and leave him to bleed to death?"

Hijazi's sister Shaymaa said she was across the street at their older brother's house when the incident occurred.

"I did not know what was happening at our house. We thought it was a detention raid in the neighborhood and then we suddenly heard heavy fire."

Shaymaa added that she knew her brother had been killed when she heard him shouting "Allah Akbar."

Relative Umm Suhaib Hijazi said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets at locals when they attempted to "check what was going on with Mutaz."

She said Hijazi's father, uncle and brother were briefly detained to identify Mutaz’s body.

Another witness, Khalid Ghaith, said he did not hear soldiers calling Hijazi to turn himself in or surrender, and that he only heard heavy fire for four to six minutes.

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