Palestinians bury slain teen, clashes hit E Jerusalem

Palestinians bury slain teen, clashes hit E Jerusalem
Thousands of mourners gather for the funeral of Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, carry his body to the mosque during his funerals in Shuafat, in israeli annexed East Jerusalem on July 4, 2014.

JERUSALEM - Thousands of Palestinians, some firing weapons into the air, took part Friday in the emotionally-charged east Jerusalem funeral of a Palestinian teenager believed murdered by Israelis.

Chanting "with our blood and our spirit we shall sacrifice for the martyr," mourners carried the shrouded body of Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, through his neighbourhood of Shuafat as flag-waving crowds thronged the narrow streets, before he was buried in a local cemetery.

Before and after the funeral, Palestinians clashed with Israeli police near the procession and elsewhere in east Jerusalem, and thousands of officers were deployed in case of widespread unrest.

It was the third straight day of violence since Abu Khder was kidnapped and found dead Wednesday in a suspected revenge attack for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers last month.

"Hundreds (of Palestinians) are throwing stones at police securing the event. Police responding with riot dispersal means," the police said in a statement, adding that no injuries were reported.

The teenager's funeral coincided with the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Despite the occasion, just 8,000 worshippers joined the weekly prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.

Many apparently stayed away fearing clashes with police. On the same day last year police reported a crowd of 80,000.

Police allowed access only to women, and men over 50.

Military commanders, meanwhile, waited to see if a series of statements by Israeli leaders promising to "meet quiet with quiet" would bring a halt to the latest flare-up of violence on the Gaza border.

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