2013-04-04 17:00:52 by: New Superman
JERUSALEM – The funeral of a Palestinian prisoner who died of cancer in Israeli custody set off displays of angry defiance on Thursday in the West Bank city of Hebron. Masked gunmen loyal to the Palestinian president fired into the air to underscore calls for vengeance, and clashes broke out between Israeli soldiers and youths burning tires and hurling stones.
Farther north, near the city of Tulkarm, the burial of two other Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces late on Wednesday also became a rallying point for mourners calling for continued resistance against Israeli occupation.
Unrest in the West Bank, which has been simmering for several months, has raised the specter of a wider explosion of violence with some Palestinians in Hebron calling for a new uprising to liberate Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The charged atmosphere did not bode well for diplomacy, with Secretary of State John Kerry expected in the region next week in part to try to find a formula to restart peace negotiations.
The Palestinian leadership accused Israel of harming the American effort.
“This escalation proves that the Israeli government only looks at reality through brute power, settlement activities and Judaization,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement.
Thousands in Hebron attended the funeral of the prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiya, 64, who died of cancer that, according to an Israeli autopsy, began in the vocal cords and had spread to the lungs, neck, chest, liver, spine and ribs. The Palestinians have accused the Israeli authorities of deliberately delaying his diagnosis and treatment. The Israel prison service said a committee would examine the circumstances of his death.
A retired general in the Palestinian Authority security services, Mr. Hamdiya was buried with military honors. He was detained by Israel in 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian ...