BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) - Dozens of Palestinians were injured, at least one seriously, on Sunday evening in occupied East Jerusalem when the funeral for a Palestinian who drowned three days earlier devolved into clashes.
Ali Abu Gharbiyeh, 24, drowned in Lake Tabariya in northern Israel on Friday, with his body washing ashore on Sunday morning.
The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that at least 35 Palestinians were injured during the clashes.
At least one funeral goer was seriously wounded after being hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, the Red Crescent said, adding that the bullet was lodged in his head and that he was suffering from internal bleeding, in addition to shrapnel having lodged itself in his eye.
A spokesperson for Hadassah hospital, where the Red Crescent said the man was taken for treatment, was not immediately available for comment on Sunday evening.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police
prevented Abu Gharbiyeh's funeral procession from passing through the neighborhood of al-Sawana because the participants were waving Palestinian flags, “shouting slogans,” and “acting disorderly.”
Funeral attendees then began throwing stones at police forces, al-Samri added, injuring one officer, who was treated at the scene, in the face.
Israeli police then used “riot dispersal means,” al-Samri said, without elaborating.
A Ma’an reporter present on the scene said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and sound bombs at the funeral procession.
“Police will not allow the exploitation of a funeral procession to include hostile national features and disorderly acts by any party,” al-Samri said, adding that police
was working to apprehend those involved in the clashes.
Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the years for what rights groups have referred to as excessive use of force against Palestinians who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been handled through non-lethal means, particularly during clashes.
Editor's Note: This article has been edited from its original source.