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Palestinians mourn protester slain by Israelis

Two thousand mourners march on the outskirts of Jerusalem with the body of a 23-year-old Palestinian shot dead on Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

AFP, Saturday 25 Feb 2012
Palestinian women shout at Israeli policemen during clashes with Palestinian protesters on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem's Old City February 24, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
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About 2,000 mourners, some firing automatic rifles into the air, marched on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Saturday with the body of a Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops.

Talaat Abdel-Rahman Ramiya, 23, was killed in one of a string of clashes on Friday between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters angry over violence in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.

Staff at the West Bank hospital where he died of his injuries on Friday night initially gave a different name, but relatives corrected it on Saturday.

Carrying Palestinian flags and banners of the Fatah movement of president Mahmoud Abbas, the mourners escorted Ramiya's body to his family home in the West Bank neighbourhood of Al-Ram, a few hundred metres north of the Jerusalem city limits, and then to a local mosque.

"Millions of martyrs will march on Jerusalem," the mourners chanted.

A group of youngsters blocked a street and hurled petrol bombs and stones at Israeli troops who fired tear gas, witnesses and the military said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"About 70 Palestinians are throwing petrol bombs, rolling burning tyres and throwing stones at security forces, who are responding with riot dispersal means," an army spokesman told AFP.

Friday's Al-Ram unrest broke out as stone-throwers battled Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and neighbouring districts.

The army said that a soldier apparently opened fire with live ammunition, hitting Ramiya in the shoulder.

"An initial investigation suggests that a Palestinian man fired fireworks at soldiers from several metres away, putting the soldiers' lives in danger," a spokesman said.

"The soldier responded by firing, injuring the Palestinian in his shoulder."

At Al-Aqsa, there were clashes between riot police and "hundreds" of Palestinian stone-throwers, police said.

They said that the unrest had been fuelled by web postings by Israeli rightists urging Jews to visit the mosque compound and assert Israeli sovereignty over the site, one of the most sensitive in the Middle East.

It is referred to by Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif and considered the third holiest site in Islam, while it is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and is revered as Judaism's most sacred place.

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