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Thousands of Palestinians pack streets for night-time funeral of al-Aqsa mosque gunmen Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Thousands of Palestinians pack streets for night-time funeral of al-Aqsa mosque gunmen

The funerals of the three men were held overnight in Umm al-Fahm [Twitter]

Date of publication: 27 July, 2017

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Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of three men killed after shooting dead two Israeli police officers outside al-Aqsa, ultimately leading to a Palestinian boycott of the mosque.
Thousands of people gathered outside the funerals of the three Palestinian fighters who killed two Israeli-Druze police officers in the Aqsa Mosque compound two weeks ago.

The funerals were held at the Masala Mosque in the al-Jabareen neighbourhood of Umm al-Fahm city in the early hours of Thursday morning, as the family of the dead refused to cooperate with Israeli conditions for a daytime funeral.

Crowds of Palestinians chanted slogans and waved flags as the bodies of Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Jabareen 29; Mohammed Hamed Abdullatif Jabarin, 19, and Mohammed Ahmad Mufdal Jabarin, 19, were carried through the streets.

The three fighters, all from the same family, sparked a series of events that led to the Palestinian Authority breaking off communication with Israel.

The dead men allegedly smuggled weapons into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound before killing two Israeli police officers.

Israeli forces had originally held onto their remains for 13 days and only released the bodies to their family following a court order.

One Palestinian lawyer told The New Arab that police tried to impose restrictions on the families of the deceased but that thousands of protesters still turned out on the streets.

Israeli authorities then installed metal detectors and security cameras to the entrances of the Aqsa mosque compound, leading to religious and Palestinian leaders calling for a a boycott of the mosque.

This boycott is expected to be lifted after Asr afternoon prayers on Thursday, after the Israeli metal detectors and facial-recognition cameras were all removed following domestic and international pressure.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his country "cannot tolerate" security restrictions imposed on Muslims while visiting al-Aqsa during Friday prayers.

Early on Thursday, Israeli forces removed newly the installed railings and scaffolding where new security cameras had previously been mounted.

Large crowds turned out to celebrate in Jerusalem, with some letting off fireworks in the centre of town.

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