Some 4,000 people, including senior Fatah and Hamas figures, attended on Friday the funeral of 65-year-old Amr Qawasme, a Hebron resident who was accidentally shot to death by IDF soldiers overnight.
"The Israeli occupation committed a stupid act when it killed a man who was sleeping in his bed in cold blood, with 13 bullets," said Hamas member Aziz Duwaik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. "They do not want us (Hamas and Fatah) to reconcile and are imposing their divide and rule policy, but it will fail."
Qawasme was killed when soldiers entered an apartment on the second floor of a building in Hebron to arrest Wael Mahmad Said Bitar, a Hamas member who was released from jail Thursday by the Palestinian Authority.
The soldiers shot and hit Amr Qawasme, apparently because they thought he was attacking them. According to neighbors, Bitar lives one storey below the killed Palestinian.
Qawasme's wife said he was asleep when soldiers broke into his home before dawn.
The army said in a statement that Central Command Chief Major-General Avi Mizrahi had ordered Brigadier-General Nitzan Alon, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, to launch a swift investigation into the incident.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit expressed its regret over the killing.
Qawasme family mourns Amr's death (Photo: AFP)
According to Palestinian news outlets, the funeral procession was led by Hebron governor Kamil Hamid, Minister of Local Government Khalid Qawasmi and Duwaik.
Parliament members from Hamas and Fatah also attended the funeral, as did senior members of the various Palestinian factions and security officials from Hebron.
Following the noon prayer dozens of the West Bank city's residents called to avenge Qawasme's death.
"Baruch Marzel and settler gangs are trying to rule over us and deteriorate the area to chaos," Hamid said.
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