Tens of thousands of people crowded the churches and mosques of Shfa-Amr, in northern Israel, for funeral ceremonies for the victims of ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shooting by a settler-soldier.
The sisters Hazar, 23, and Deena Torkey, 21, were buried following the Friday mid-day prayers at the townÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mosque. The funeral procession set out from their home towards the mosque for prayers, then to the townÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Muslim cemetery.Ã‚Â
Following the prayer and burial of the two sisters, a prayer session was held in the townÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s church in memory of Michel Bahus, 56, and Nader Hayek, 55 years old, who were laid to rest in the Christian cemetery adjacent to the Muslim cemetery in Shfa-Amr.
Dozens of thousands attended the funerals, including heads of the municipality and officials of the Arab Follow-Up Committee in Israel.
Representative of Pope Benedict XVI also attended the funeral ceremonies and participated in the prayers and burial ceremonies for the victims.
Also, Rabbi Menachem Froman attended the ceremonies, and presented the condolences of the Israeli Sefardi chief rabbi Shlomo Amar.Ã‚Â
The Israeli police were not visible during the funerals.
The residents carried roses and black flags in addition to Palestinian flags during the burial ceremonies.
AÃ‚Â number of Jewish protests were also conducted near Gush Misgav, in the Galilee, in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist shooting, an Israeli source reported on Friday.Ã‚Â
In the Gaza Strip, dozens of thousands of residents protested the Shfa-Amr attack following Friday prayers.
TheÃ‚Â Hamas movement alsoÃ‚Â called its members and supporters to protest in Jabalia city, in the northern Gaza Strip.
The protestors chanted slogans against the occupation and affirmed the unity of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and in Israel.
Nizar Rayyan, one of Hamas’ leaders, said that the movement cannot remain idle in response to the attack, which he called Ã¢â‚¬Å“a direct outcome of Israeli official incitements against the Palestinians.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Sami abu-Zuhry, the media spokesperson of Hamas, said that the Shfa-Amr attack in another crime carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people wherever they exist.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fateh movement, vowed vengeance, declaring that Israel discriminates against its Arab residents in spite of its claims of equality..Ã‚Â
Sheikh Tayseer Tameemy, a top Islamic cleric in Palestine, condemned the attack during the Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Tameemy said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“this crime reflects the settlersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fundamentalism and racism against the Arab and Palestinian residents.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This crime shows lack of real intensions for peace, it shows a clear racism against the Arab and Palestinian residents,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tameemy said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It does not differ from the terrorist attack carried out in 1994 by terrorist Baroch Goldenstein in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron.Ã¢â‚¬Â