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Funeral held for Palestinian killed by Israeli troops during al-Ram raid

July 20, 2016 2:18 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2016 10:16 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at dawn on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank village of Anata to attend the funeral of Anwar Falah al-Salaymeh, a young Palestinian who was shot and killed by Israeli forces a week earlier during an army raid.

Al-Salaymeh, 22, was killed on July 13 in the town of al-Ram in the West Bank district of Jerusalem, when he and two friends driving in the area stumbled upon an ongoing Israeli army raid in the area.

At the time, the army said that forces shot at a “speeding vehicle heading towards them,” killing al-Salaymeh and grievously injuring one of the two other Palestinians in the vehicle.

However, the surviving passengers in the car categorically denied that they had attempted to run over the soldiers, saying that they were heading to a bakery and had been unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the area.

Al-Salaymeh’s family said that his body was brought from the Israeli Abu Kabir Institute for Forensic Medicine in Jaffa, after Israeli authorities failed to bring the body to the Beituniya military checkpoint as had been announced earlier.

Israeli intelligence, the family explained, told them to send someone to receive the body at Beituniya checkpoint, but “when we arrived, we were told to go to Abu Kabir to identify the body and receive it.”

The funeral procession started after funeral prayer at a mosque in the nearby Shufat refugee camp, before mourners marched to the cemetery in Anata, waving Palestinian flags and chanting about Palestinian “martyrs,” Jerusalem, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

His funeral was held the same morning that mourners in al-Ram also buried 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi, shot dead on Wednesday when clashes broke out in the village between locals and Israeli forces.

Al-Salaymeh and al-Tabbakhi are among more than 220 Palestinians who have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of a wave of unrest in October, marked by actual and alleged stabbing, shooting, and car ramming attacks, primarily carried out against Israeli military targets as well as settlers.

Rights group have denounced what they have termed Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy which has led to the death of numerous Palestinians in instances when the use of lethal force could have been avoided.

On June 21, Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens while they were driving in their car. The Israeli army said initially that Mahmoud Badran, the slain teen, was a "terrorist" involved in nearby stone-throwing, though they later admitted he was an "uninvolved bystander" to the incident.

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