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Thousands march in funeral of Palestinian slain by Israeli settler

May 18, 2017 8:46 P.M. (Updated: May 19, 2017 3:53 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians marched in the funeral of 23-year-old Muataz Bani Shamsa, hours after he was shot and killed by an Israeli Israeli settler during a solidarity march in the village of Huwwara, south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

Mourners marched from the main square in the village of Beita, Shamsa’s hometown, towards the village’s cemetery, waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans glorifying Shamsa, while demanding revenge against Israeli settlers.

National Work Factions -- a group of several Palestinian factions from across the political spectrum -- gave speeches at the funeral, saying that Shamsa was a “martyr of freedom,” while stressing the importance of national unity “to support prisoners in their strike against occupation.”

The factions highlighted the 80 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons are from Beita, 30 of whom are participating in the mass “Freedom and Dignity” hunger strike, which entered its 32nd day on Thursday.

Shamsa was shot in the head and killed by an Israeli settler who stepped out of his vehicle and opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians who were clashing with Israeli forces on the main road of Huwwara following a march that was organized in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners.

Hours after the shooting, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported that the settler was not being investigated by Israeli police as a criminal suspect, and had instead, filed a criminal complaint against the Palestinian protesters, who the settler said were attempting to “lynch” him.

Shamsa was the 23rd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017. Seven Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time frame.

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