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Funeral held for Palestinian killed by Israeli forces last week

Thousands of Palestinians took part in the funeral procession on Friday

Thousands of Palestinians took part in the funeral procession on Friday of the Palestinian who was killed by Israeli occupation forces last week near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Arabs48.com has reported.

The Israelis handed over the body of Basel Al-Araj to the Palestinian Authority late on Thursday. Doctors at Beit Jala Hospital examined the corpse and found that 21 bullets were responsible for his death. Al-Araj is already being called a "martyr" by the Palestinian community.

Many thousands of people also gathered near Al-Araj's family home in Al-Walaja village near Bethlehem. This coincided with a heavy Israeli security presence in the area.

Read: Palestinian Basel Al-Araj's will

Al-Araj was arrested by the Palestinian Authority last year along with other five men, but after popular protests they were released. The other five Palestinians were re-arrested by the Israeli authorities but Al-Araj was able to avoid arrest until he was killed by the Israelis last week.

The incident has raised the contentious issue of the PA's security collaboration with the occupation authorities. Factions across the political spectrum have expressed their outrage about the "cooperation" and called for the PA to put an end to it. A Christian priest in Ramallah – a member of the PLO – called for a revolt to oust the PA unless it stops such collaboration with the Israelis.

Palestinians carry the body of Basel al-Araj, who was killed by Israeli forces during a clash, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Walaja near Bethlehem, March 17, 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun / ApaImages]

Palestinians carry the body of Basel al-Araj, who was killed by Israeli forces during a clash, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Walaja near Bethlehem, March 17, 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun / ApaImages]

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