Violent protests in Jerusalem following young Palestinian's funeral

Waleed Shareef sustained a head injury during a demonstration in Jerusalem on April 22

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians following the funeral of Waleed Shareef. AFP
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Demonstrations erupted in Jerusalem following the funeral of a young Palestinian man who died from injuries after Israeli police fired rubber bullets during a protest last month.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds of stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators.

Waleed Shareef, who died on Saturday, suffered a serious head injury on April 22 as Israeli police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators in Jerusalem.

Monday’s violence came days after police clashed with mourners at the Jerusalem funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed on Wednesday while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.

Hundreds of mourners joined the funeral procession as Shareef’s body was taken to Al Aqsa Mosque before proceeding to a cemetery outside the Old City.

“With our souls and blood, we will redeem you, martyr,” the crowd chanted.

Some people waved Palestinian flags.

Following the funeral, Israeli police said demonstrators threw stones, sticks and fireworks at security forces. They released videos showing protesters throwing objects towards police standing near the cemetery and another video of stones pelting a nearby street.

The police vowed to use a “firm hand” to stop violence that “turned a funeral into an out-of-control demonstration of violence”.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 71 Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings. Thirteen people required hospital treatment, including two with eye injuries, it said.

Police said six officers were hurt and that 20 Palestinians had been arrested, including five people suspected of performing an attempted hit and run.

Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of Walid Shareef during his funeral at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City. EPA

Palestinian witnesses and Shareef’s family say he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, while Israeli authorities have suggested he died from injuries sustained when he fell on the ground.

Israeli hospital officials did not give a precise cause of death and the family refused to conduct an autopsy.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, while Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state that includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s office accused the Jerusalem police of a “cruel and barbaric act.”

It said there will be no peace and stability in the region until the creation of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Updated: May 17, 2022, 6:34 AM