Share This Page

Palestinian prisoner given hero's funeral

| Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 9:54 p.m.

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian prisoner who died in an Israeli jail was given a hero's burial with military honors in the West Bank on Monday amid signs that Palestinian and Israeli leaders were working to prevent days of street clashes from triggering a wider eruption of unrest.

The surge of protests, which had stoked Israeli fears of a third Palestinian uprising, was sparked by an extended hunger strike by four Palestinian prisoners and fueled by the death of a fifth detainee, Arafat Jaradat, who was under interrogation by Israel's Shin Bet security agency.

Palestinian officials said an Israeli autopsy attended by the Palestinian Authority's chief forensic pathologist showed that Jaradat had been tortured. But Israeli health officials contend that the preliminary findings did not indicate a cause of death and that further tests were needed.

Draped in a Palestinian flag, Jaradat's body was taken to his village of Sa'ir, north of Hebron, with an honor guard of Palestinian security officers, who fired a 21-gun salute near the gravesite.

Thousands joined the funeral procession, which was punctuated by shots fired by masked gunmen of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. A statement by the group distributed to the crowd vowed to avenge Jaradat's death.

“We promise the Zionist occupation that we will respond to this crime,” it said.

But Abbas sounded a different note in remarks at his headquarters in Ramallah, urging Palestinians not to be swept up in a cycle of deadly confrontation with the Israelis.

“The Israelis want chaos, and we know how to act,” he said. “We won't let them play with the lives of our sons.”

“No matter how much they try to drag us back to their square, we will not be dragged,” Abbas added. “They bear the responsibility.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.