72 Palestinians killed, 2240 injured, 1000 arrested in Oct. clashes with Israel occupation

Ahram Online , AFP , Saturday 31 Oct 2015

Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Dania Ersheed, 17, Tareq al-Natshe, 16, Baian Eseleh, 16, Bashar al-ja'bari, 15 and Husam al-Ja'bari, 18, during their mass funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (Photo:AP)

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of October has climbed to 72, while the number of injured reached 2,240, the Palestinian health ministry said on Saturday.

Fifty-four Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and 17 in Gaza, Wafa Palestinian news agency reported. One man was killed in the Negev desert.

Meanwhile clashes broke out on Saturday afternoon in the flashpoint West Bank city of El-Khalil, after tens of thousands of mourners took part in a funeral march for five Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces.

Mourners waved Palestinian flags and chanted "we will die but Palestine will live on," reported Safa Palestinian news agency.

Israeli fire directed at the marchers wounded 12, according to medical sources cited by AFP.

Ziad Natsheh, who buried his son Tareq, 17, said as he received condolences from mourners Saturday that he was relieved to give him a "dignified burial."

"Living in a country where there is nothing else but war, everyone expects to know death, injury or lose a child," said Natsheh.

Israeli authorities had refused to release the bodies of Bayan Aaslyeh, Dania Ershaid, Hossam and Bashar Al-Jabari, and Tarek Natsheh, but relented after mounting pressure from Palestinian authorities.

Hundreds of Palestinians also attended the funeral of another victim of the West Bank violence, eight-month-old Ramadan Thawabteh. Officials said he was asphyxiated by teargas fired by Israeli soldiers near his Bethlehem home Friday.

The Israeli occupation authorities have arrested more than 1,000 Palestinians and Arab Israelis since 1 October. Of those 221 took place in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said last Sunday.

Palestinians have been protesting since the beginning of October against Israel's attempts to build more settlements in east Jerusalem and force out Arab residents of the city, the planned capital of a future Palestinian state.

The current wave of protests and repression started in late July when toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian protests were also triggered by an increase in Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa mosque—considered to be the third holiest site in Islam— in Jerusalem. Palestinians fear that Israel is preparing to allow Jewish prayers in the mosque, which is currently not allowed.

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