Palestinians riot as prisoner is laid to rest in Hebron
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Palestinians riot as prisoner is laid to rest in Hebron

Abbas blames Israel for escalation in West Bank violence after two alleged firebombers are killed in Tulkarem

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces (not seen) during clashes following a protest against the death of a Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia while in Israeli detention, April 3, 2013. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)
Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces (not seen) during clashes following a protest against the death of a Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia while in Israeli detention, April 3, 2013. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)

Palestinians rioted in the West Bank city of Hebron as thousands of mourners attended the funeral of prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia, who died of cancer while in Israeli custody this week.

Dozens of rioters pelted IDF troops with rocks, while Israeli vehicles were stoned along roads in the area. Security forces responded with crowd-control methods, including tear gas.

Abuhamdia was laid to rest in a full military funeral conducted by the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, in Tulkarem, thousands participated in a funerals for two Palestinian teenagers who were killed Wednesday night during an alleged Molotov cocktail attack on an IDF checkpoint.

Sporadic incidents of stone-throwing and rioting were also reported at other locations in the West Bank where tension has been mounting in recent months. Near the settlement of Yitzhar, some 100 Palestinians were throwing rocks and clashing with troops. Near Ramallah, two Israelis, male police officer and a civilian woman, were lightly injured by rocks.

Abuhamdia, 64, who was serving a life sentence for orchestrating what was ultimately a failed suicide-bombing of a Jerusalem cafe in 2002, died of cancer. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of not providing appropriate medical aid to the prisoner.

Israel denied the charge, but Abuhamdia’s death nevertheless sparked violent demonstrations and rioting across the West Bank.

On Thursday, the Palestinian minister of prisoners’ affairs announced that an autopsy conducted on Abuhamdia’s body had revealed that prisoner’s death had been caused by deliberate medical negligence on Israel’s part. Issa Qaraqe accused Israel of neglecting Abuhamdia and ignoring his deteriorating situation for years, as far back as 2003, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

A previous autopsy conducted in Israel determined that the cause of death was Abuhamdia’s cancer.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday blamed Israel for escalating violence in the West Bank, citing as evidence the deaths of two teenagers in Tulkarem.

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