Israeli troops have killed two Palestinians and wounded at least 22 others during clashes in the town of Rahat in the Negev desert.
The scuffles broke out on Sunday when Palestinians gathered to hold a funeral for Sami al-Ja’ar, a young Palestinian Bedouin who was shot dead by Israeli forces near a junction between the cities of Bethlehem and al-Khalil (Hebron) on January 14.
A large number of people attended the event, which stretched from the central Rahat mosque to the town’s cemetery.
Israeli forces attacked the mourners, firing toxic teargas at them.
Following the killing of Ja’ar, officials in Rahat declared three days of mourning and called for an investigation into his death. A general strike was also announced by Negev’s Palestinian communities on Sunday.
The Israeli regime has intensified its crackdown on Palestinians in recent months.
A large number of Palestinians, including minors, have recently been arrested. More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly incarcerated in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps.
Among the Palestinian prisoners are 18 women, 250 children, 1,500 ailing individuals, mostly in a critical condition, and 540 Palestinians held without any trial under the so-called administrative detention.
Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to jail Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.