Last updated: 25 February, 2012

Palestinian dies in fighting over Jerusalem

Palestinians and Israeli troops clashed on the edge of Jerusalem for a second day on Saturday after the funeral of a protester killed Friday.

“Rocks, fire bombs and burning tyres were hurled at soldiers,” a military statement said. “After exhausting all other means, rubber pellets were used.”

Palestinians at the scene, in the West Bank neighbourhood of Al-Ram, adjacent to Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, said that four people were injured.

Earlier, about 2,000 mourners, some firing automatic rifles into the air, marched with the body of Talaat Abdel-Rahman Ramiya, 23, killed by army fire in Al-Ram on Friday.

That clash was one of a string between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters angry over violence in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Mourners carrying Palestinian flags and banners of the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, on Saturday escorted Ramiya’s body to a cemetery in Al-Ram, a few hundred metres (yards) north of the Jerusalem city limits.

“Millions of martyrs will march on Jerusalem,” they chanted.

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad condemned the killing of Ramiya.

“The Israeli government bears full responsibility for this crime,” he said in a statement, adding that that the international community’s lack of pressure on Israel made it complicit in the violence.

“The international community’s silence… contributed to further Israeli undermining of our people’s lives and committing this crime.

“This situation gives the international community direct responsibility for the continuation of such attacks,” it said.

Unrest broke out Friday in Al-Ram 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 (yards) away, putting the soldiers’ lives in danger,” a spokesman said.

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

At Al-Aqsa Friday, 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 Al-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.