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Palestinian killed by Israeli forces last month laid to rest in Qalandiya

Feb. 5, 2017 4:22 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 5, 2017 9:43 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A funeral was held on Sunday for slain Palestinian Hussein Salem Abu Ghush, whose body was returned by Israeli authorities on Saturday after withholding it for 11 days.

Abu Ghush, a 24-year-old from Qalandiya refugee camp in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank, was killed by Israeli soldiers on Jan. 25, after he allegedly attempted a car-ramming attack at a bus-stop near Kochav Yaakov, an illegal Israeli settlement directly southeast of Ramallah. No Israelis were injured in the alleged attack.

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral in Qalandiya on Sunday, where Abu Ghush’s body was first taken to his family’s home.

The body was then brought to the refugee camp’s main mosque for funeral prayers, before being carried to the cemetery for burial.

Masked gunmen marched in front of the funeral parade firing into the air, as thousands of mourners shouted slogans lauding Palestinian martyrs and vowing to continue the struggle against the Israeli occupation.

Witnesses had told Ma'an following Abu Ghush’ death that Israeli soldiers had left the young man bleeding on the ground until he died.

Abu Ghush is one of eight Palestinians to have been killed by Israeli forces in 2017. Six Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

Amid an increase in violence since October 2015, Israeli authorities dramatically escalated a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed by Israeli forces, claiming that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.

However, the majority of bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces have since been returned to their families, despite the Israeli security cabinet deciding in January that bodies of Palestinians affiliated with the Hamas movement who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis would be withheld indefinitely.

A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group Adalah last March condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as "a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture."
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