At least 2,000 Palestinians attended the funeral of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was killed Wednesday morning in a brutal attack in which he was abducted, stabbed and burned to death. The mourners were met by thousands of Israeli police, who were deployed to the streets of Jerusalem in advance of the funeral Friday morning.At least twenty people were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades and tear gas canisters that were fired by Israeli officers into the crowd. Paestinian youth responded by throwing stones.
The pall-bearers carried the body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir from Hadassah hospital to the cemetery through the streets of Shu’fat, with thousands of people following the family shouting “We have had enough!” and “God is great!”.
Barricades remain on several streets in Shu’fat, with protesters clashing with police in several locations overnight and through the morning.
Despite the large outpouring of support for the family at the funeral, many Palestinians living in Jerusalem have remained indoors, afraid to go outside since Monday, when crowds of right-wing Israelis took to the streets shouting “Death to Arabs” following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli settlers.
The Al Aqsa Mosque reported just 8,000 people attending Friday prayers today – last year at this time, there was an average of 80,000 attending on Fridays during the holy month of Ramadan. Abu Khdeir’s family had requested that their child’s funeral be held there, but Israeli authorities denied that request.
Mohammed Abu Khdeir had been on his way to early morning prayers Wednesday to prepare for the all-day fast that Muslims participate in during the holy month of Ramadan when he was abducted by a group of Israelis and shoved into a car, according to eyewitnesses.
The 16-year old was then taken to an isolated spot in east Jerusalem and killed. The newly-released autopsy report found that he was still alive when he was set on fire by the assailants.
Despite video footage of the abduction that clearly identifies the assailants, and the license plate number of the vehicle he was abducted in having been recorded by eyewitnesses, Israeli police have detained none of the attackers.