Palestinian police fire tear gas at funerals of Hamas militants

NABLUS: Palestinian security forces in the occupied West Bank fired tear gas on Wednesday as mourners attending the funeral of a Hamas militant killed by Israeli forces chanted anti-PA slogans.

Hundreds marched through the streets of the northern West Bank city of Nablus for the funeral of 49-year-old Hamas militant Abdel Fatah Hussein Khroushah, who was killed along with five other Palestinians in intense fighting in an Israeli raid in Jenin a day earlier.

The Israeli army said Khroushah is a “terrorist agent” suspected of killing two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara on February 26.

Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, called him a “heroic martyr.”

As mourners carried Khroushah’s body through Nablus, some shouted offensive slogans against the Palestinian security forces and other officials, calling them “prostitutes” and “spies” for Israel.

Palestinian officers fired tear gas and flashbangs, an AFP correspondent said, and the body was taken away in an ambulance.

Palestinian Security Service spokesman Talal Dweikat said officials intervened when a dispute broke out after “a group unrelated to the martyr’s family kidnapped the body and lowered it to the ground,” the Palestinian Authority reported Wafa news agency.

“An altercation broke out while they chanted against the (Palestinian) national authority and security services instead of cursing the (Israeli) occupation that has committed crimes against our people,” Dweikat added.

Meanwhile in Jenin, crowds, all men in their 20s, marched through the streets during the funerals of the five other Palestinians killed on Tuesday. Among the thousands of mourners were masked gunmen.

The Jenin raid was the latest in a series of deadly military operations in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Israeli army and state security Shin Bet said they conducted a separate raid on a refugee camp in Nablus on Tuesday and arrested two of Khroushah’s sons “who are suspected of supporting and planning the terrorist attack”. -AFP Palestinian police fire tear gas at funerals of Hamas militants

Russell Falcon

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