Thousands Lay Rahat Man to Rest

Thousands on Monday participated in the funeral procession of a Palestinian Bedouin man from the Negev who died Sunday in clashes with Israeli forces during the funeral of another man who was killed by Israeli police, a Ma’an reporter said.

Sami Ibrahim Zayadna, 45, died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli police at mourners in the Bedouin city of Rahat.

The procession, led by local Bedouin leaders, began at Zayadna’s house and marched to the family’s cemetery.

Several other Palestinian leaders, Knesset members, local government leaders, and political party representatives participated in the funeral.

Over 40 other people were injured during the clashes that followed the Sunday funeral of Sami al-Jaar, 22, who was shot dead by Israeli police last week while standing on the patio of his home during clashes between police and local youths in the neighborhood.

Those injured by Israeli forces’ dispersal of funeral-goers and protesters included Rahat mayor Talal al-Qureinawi and Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement.

Three people injured Sunday remain in Soroka hospital, including one who was seriously injured in the eye and is now in a moderate condition.

The injuries of the two others are described as light.

Meanwhile, the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel announced a full strike on Monday after an emergency meeting in Rahat.

Rahat mayor al-Qarnawi said during the meeting that “there is absolutely no trust in the (Israeli) police.”

“They tried to call me today but I refused; the president spoke with me and I notified him of the dangers of the police actions against the people of Rahat.”

Many Bedouins were forcibly settled by the State of Israel in the area after 1948, particularly after attempts to drive them permanently across the border into neighboring countries failed.

Although the majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, some Palestinians managed to remain in their villages and their descendants today make up around 20 percent of Israel’s population.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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