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Funeral held for Palestinian shot in chest during Friday clashes

Dec. 19, 2015 2:26 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 20, 2015 11:19 A.M.)
(AFP/Musa Al-Shaer, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinians from the town of Sinjil mourned Saturday in the funeral of Nashaat Jamal Asfour, 33, who succumbed to his wounds after being shot by Israeli forces on Friday.

Asfour died hours after he was critically injured with an explosive bullet in the chest during clashes with Israeli forces, according to medics.

A military funeral set off from the Palestine Medical Center in the city of Ramallah towards Sinjil, which lies around 21 kilometers northeast of the occupied West Bank city.

Israeli forces reportedly prevented the passage of vehicles in the funeral procession from driving from Ramallah to Sinjil, except for Palestinian ambulances in the caravan.

Mourners in Sinjil marched from Asfour’s family home towards the town’s mosque where they performed prayers before heading to the cemetery for burial.

Shops in the nearby Ramallah and al-Bireh cities were closed on Saturday in mourning of Asfour’s death after national and Islamic forces announced strike to take place from the morning until 12:00 p.m.

The 33-year-old was the third Palestinian to die on Friday. Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Ayyad, 21, was killed also by Israeli forces after attempting to run over a group of soldiers with his vehicle in the Ramallah-area village of Silwad, Israel's army said.

Hours later, 20-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad Saed al-Agha was shot dead by Israeli military forces when clashes broke out near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.

Friday’s deaths brought the total number of Palestinians killed from direct confrontations with Israeli military forces and settlers since Oct. 1 to 126.

Nineteen Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals in the same time period.

Over 150 Palestinians were shot and injured by live and rubber-coated steel bullets during Friday's clashes in both the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

An increase in demonstrations against Israeli military forces has coincided with the escalation in violence that began across the occupied Palestinian territory in October that has continued through December.

While Middle East Quartet envoys and UN officials visited the area earlier this week in efforts to quell the ongoing violence, Palestinian leadership has remained markedly absent from the public domain in recent months.

Israeli leadership meanwhile has executed large-scale security measures in response to attacks carried out by Palestinians on Israeli military and civilians that international rights groups have labeled "collective punishment."

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