Three arrested in clashes after Arab teen’s funeral
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Three arrested in clashes after Arab teen’s funeral

Rioters skirmish with security forces in Wadi al-Joz for second day as Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, laid to rest

Palestinian youth take cover behind a wall as they hurl stones at Israeli policemen during a protest in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem on September 7, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
Palestinian youth take cover behind a wall as they hurl stones at Israeli policemen during a protest in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem on September 7, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

Three Arab youths were arrested by police on Monday evening on suspicion of hurling stones at security forces as the Jerusalem funeral of a teen — shot by police a week earlier — turned violent Monday afternoon.

Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, was shot by Israeli troops during a demonstration last week and succumbed to his wounds Sunday.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter that, following the arrests near the Old City, “Situation quiet. Police units in area.”

Police had been gearing up for a second night of violence, as anger simmered over the death of Sunuqrut.

In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, heavy clashes between rioters and police continued for the second day running, as Arab men hurled stones, firebombs and firecrackers at the officers, who responded with riot-dispersal means.

The teenager died Sunday morning in Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in the capital. He was shot a week ago by police during a protest in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, though his family and police differ on how he suffered his fatal injuries.

His autopsy was concluded on Monday afternoon, Haaretz reported, and the funeral took place in the late afternoon. No results from the autopsy were immediately released.

A Channel 2 report featured the dispatch call between an East Jerusalem resident and the Magen David Adom emergency medical organization, during which the caller maintained that Sunuqrut was unconscious and that he had been shot in the head. The Israeli police said that the teenager was shot by a rubber bullet in the foot, and fell and hit his head.

The family of the slain teenager was holding the medical team responsible for his death, stressing that the ambulance did not arrive at the scene for some time, Channel 2 reported. The MDA responded that the ambulance was held up due to the clashes, as well as fears for the safety of its paramedics.

The teen’s father told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that his son was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet during the September 1 rally in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood. He claimed that his son was talking on his phone and not taking part in the demonstration.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Associated Press that the teen was hit in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet while throwing stones during the demonstration. He then fell and injured his head, according to reports.

Following news of the teen’s death on Sunday, intense protests broke out in East Jerusalem, including rock-throwing and the ransacking of a French Hill gas station.

Masked Palestinian rioters threw firebombs at the Menta gas station, located near the border between eastern and western Jerusalem, and attacked its convenience store, causing serious damage and concern that the gas pumps would explode in the flames.

Rocks also were thrown at cars with Israeli license plates, injuring two drivers, and at the Jerusalem Light Rail. Seven of the tram’s 23 cars were put out of commission in recent weeks due to rock attacks and other Palestinian violence, according to CityPass, which operates the light rail.

Rocks were also thrown at the train Monday morning.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the violence late Sunday night, calling on police to “take strong measures against rioters.”

The riots were the worst spate of violence in the capital since early July, when a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and burned to death by Jewish Israelis in a revenge killing for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens, and the launch of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the two months of unrest.

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