Palestinian funerals draw thousands in tense West Bank

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw a stone during clashes with Israeli soldiers following the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdeya in the West Bank city of Hebron April 4, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw a stone during clashes with Israeli soldiers following the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdeya in the West Bank city of Hebron April 4, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma

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By Noah Browning (Reuters) | Thu Apr 4, 2013 12:52pm EDT

ANABTA, West Bank - Thousands of mourners turned out on Thursday for the funerals of three Palestinians, including two teenagers killed by Israeli army gunfire in some of the worst violence in the occupied West Bank in years.

The upsurge in unrest was triggered on Tuesday by the death of Maysara Abu Hamdeya, a 64-year-old prisoner serving a life term in an Israeli jail and suffering from cancer.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of delaying treatment for Abu Hamdeya and gave him full military honors at a funeral on Thursday in Hebron, where masked gunmen fired into the air as his body arrived at a mosque in the divided West Bank city.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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