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Funeral held in Bethlehem for Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces

July 11, 2017 9:14 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2017 2:36 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians marched in the funeral of slain Palestinian Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril in the village of Tuqu in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Tuesday, after the 24-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday after allegedly committing an vehicular attack against Israeli soldiers.

The funeral procession set off from the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, as mourners waved Palestinian flags and condemned the killing of Jibril, while demanding accountability for his death.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli authorities had decided to return Jibril’s body after raiding the village and warning locals that the body would only be returned if the town “remained quiet.”

Jibril was gunned down Monday at a junction near Tuqu, south of Bethlehem city, after he allegedly rammed his car into Israeli forces, lightly injuring one soldier, and then emerged from the vehicle wielding a knife, according to the Israeli army.

Tuqu Mayor Hatem Sabbah had told Ma'an that he had accompanied the Jibril family to the military base to identify the body, and corroborated that Israeli intelligence had notified them that the body would only be returned on the condition that calmness prevail in the mourning village.

"This is yet another crime added to the list of crimes committed by the Israeli occupation," Sabbah said. “This Israeli military tower,” he said, referring to the tower that presides over the main entrance to Tuqu, “has become a spot for executing young men."

Sabbah called for the watchtower to be removed.

While Israeli leaders often point to Palestinian “incitement” as the cause for alleged and actual attacks on Israelis, and often attempt to connect them to the so-called “war on terror,” Palestinians have instead cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel's half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for such incidents.
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