HEBRON - A Palestinian teenager shot by settlers near the southern West Bank town of Hebron died of his wounds overnight and mourners clashed with Israeli troops at his funeral on Saturday. Yusef Ikhlil, 17, was shot in the head on Friday and taken in critical condition to Hebron's Al-Ahly hospital where he was put on life support.
He died at around midnight, Palestinian police said. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral on Saturday, and some threw stones at a nearby Israeli army watchtower, witnesses said, adding that soldiers retaliated with tear gas. Two mourners suffered from gas inhalation, although no major injuries were reported. In the Friday shooting which killed Ikhlil, a relative, 19-year-old Murad Ikhlil, was wounded in the arm by settlers who entered their village, Beit Umar, north of Hebron.
Settler sources told AFP that the violence erupted when Palestinians began throwing stones at the settlers and then shot at them, prompting the Israelis to return fire, hitting the two Palestinians. Police could not confirm their account. Friday's bloodshed came a day after settlers shot dead a Palestinian teenager near the northern West Bank town of Nablus. The Israeli military on Friday condemned both events, and said settler suspects had been detained for questioning.
"So far, a number of Israeli settlers were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the recent events," it said, and warned both sides to keep the peace. "Action will be taken against all forms of violence on either side." On Thursday, 18-year-old Uday Maher Qadous, from the Palestinian village of Iraq Burin southwest of Nablus, was shot dead by a settler.