Clashes have erupted at the funeral procession for five Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli forces in the recent wave of aggression against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Thousands of mourners attended the funeral for the teenagers, including two girls, on Saturday in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) after Israeli authorities returned their bodies.
The Palestinians carried national flags and chanted anti-Israeli slogans when skirmishes broke out between them and Israeli forces.
Israel refrains from returning the bodies of those killed in clashes with its forces in order to prevent mass protests that usually follow funerals.
Home to 200,000 Palestinians, al-Khalil sees frequent cases of violence as hundreds of Israeli settlers also live in the city, which has been the scene of near-daily clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters who are often left with bullet wounds or dead.
Tensions in the occupied territories have dramatically escalated in recent weeks.
The Israeli regime’s imposition of restrictions in August on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) has become the lightning rod for the surge of recent confrontations.
Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by illegal Israeli settlers, who frequently storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.
Earlier on Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed another Palestinian who was allegedly armed with a knife in the West Bank in yet another act of violence against Palestinian citizens.
More than 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of October. About 7,200 others have been wounded either in direct confrontation with the Israelis or during protests.
On Friday, the Palestinians called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to speed up its investigation into Israeli war crimes, as the officials handed over a new 52-page dossier on the crimes.
“It is extremely important to expedite the process... because if Israel feels impunity, what will deter Israel from multiplying the victims?” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stated.