Thousands attend West Bank funeral

HEBRON, West Bank, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Thousands of people attended the West Bank funeral Monday of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died in an Israeli prison, and stone-throwing incidents followed.

Jaradat's body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag for his burial with military honors in the Hebron village of Sair.


Shortly after his funeral, clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli security forces were reported in villages in the Hebron area.

Jaradat, 30, died Saturday in his cell in Megiddo Prison. Initial Israeli reports said it appeared he died of heart failure.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of torturing him and warned against the start of a third intifada (uprising).

The Palestine News Network, quoting Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqi, said an autopsy proved Jaradat was tortured, showing bruising on his shoulder, chest and elbows, and two fractured ribs.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said the Palestinian Authority intends to escalate resistance activities in the West Bank and may submit a complaint to the United Nations about Jaradat's death, the Ma'an News Agency reported.

Qadura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prison Society, warned the situation could lead to a third intifada.


"The situation in the prisons, the economic plight and the stalled peace process are pushing people to the brink, but I would like to believe that we are still far from that," he told

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