Palestine Calls For UN Security Council Meeting
Yasin Laid to Rest, PNA Calls for UN Security Council Meeting
IOF Shoot Dead 6 Palestinians in Mass Protests Across Territories
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) shot dead six Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy and a journalist, and wounded dozens others during mass protests across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip deouncing the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yasin in which nine Gazans were killed before the spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement was laid to rest Monday amid at least 200,000 angry mourners who had flooded the streets of Gaza City.
Mourners walked three kilometers (two miles) to Yasin’s final resting place in the Martyrs Cemetery of Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.
IOF extra-judicially executed Sheikh Ahmad Yasin while leaving a mosque after he performed his predawn prayers in Gaza City early Monday.
“I cried today as I never cry. I do not recall crying so much when I lost my own father. I believe a black future awaits this region,” 35-year-old Gaza City taxi driver Ayman Oman told Reuters.
The Palestinian government has called for a special session of the United Nations Security Council to be convened after Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Yasin.
During a meeting chaired by President Yasir Arafat and attended by Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei, the government decided to call for “a special meeting of the Security Council to examine this vile crime and provide protection for our people,” according to a statement released by the official news agency WAFA late Monday.
The government also called for a meeting of the Arab League’s ministerial council to “examine the consequences of this crime and of the assassination of Palestinian leaders.”
The flag flew at half-mast outside Arafat’s besieged headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. Arafat early in the day ordered a three-day mourning period in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and the Diaspora.
PLO Secretary General and former Premier Mahmud Abbas condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yasin as “state terrorism and a moral degradation” and held Israeli PM Ariel Sharon solely responsible for the fallout from the “brutal and dangerous crime.”
A sea of furious Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza City, vowing revenge against Israel, as they paid their last respects to the assassinated Hamas spiritual leader.
The procession left Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, heading first towards Yasin’s house in Gaza, then to the Al-Omari mosque in central Gaza where a crowd of more than 200,000 had gathered, AFP correspondents witnessed on Monday.
Yasin’s body was wrapped in the green colors of the movement that he had founded.
At one point, the wind blew apart some of the flags covering his basic wooden coffin, showing that he was covered in flowers.
Plastic bags could also be glimpsed at the bottom of the coffin, possibly containing his body parts.
Meanwhile, IOF troops killed a 13-year-old boy west of Khan Younis, Osama Al-Afandi and Ahmad Ghabayn in Al-Qarrarah north of this central Gaza Strip town, and Riyadh Mohammad Zurub, 23, in the city itself.
Medics named the boy as Musa’ab al-Ghalban and said he had been fatally hit in the head when troops opened fire from a watchtower in the nearby illegal Jewish settlement of “Ganei Tal” during a rally mourning and protesting Yasin’s assassination.
They said four other people were moderately wounded during the demonstration.
In the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in protest and mourning on Monday, threatening retaliation after Israel’s assassination of Yasin.
Stone-throwers confronted IOF troops who interrupted their mourning processions. Two Palestinians were killed.
Tareq Ahmad Al-Alama was shot dead in Beit Immar near Hebron and journalism student Mohammad Abu Halima in the northern West Bank refugee camp of Balata near Nablus.
Medics at Rafedia Hospital in Nablus told WAFA that Mohammed Abu Halima, 22, was severely shot with a live bullet in the belly. He was a correspondent for “Sawt al-Najah”- a local radio station.
Israel has extra-judicially executed more than 150 anti-occupation activists since Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in September 2000, according to Palestinian medical officials.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Monday that IOF killed 80 Palestinians (63 in Gaza Strip and 17 in West Bank), 17 (21%) of them children and 5 women of whom two were pregnant, and wounded 352 others since March 01 until March 22.
19 of the martyrs were extra-judicially assassinated and the rest killed in other means.
Some 15,000 people gathered in the center of Nablus, the West Bank’s largest city, to mourn the slain Hamas leader. In Jenin, more than 10,000 people demonstrated. More than 5,000 protested Yasin’s assassination in Ramallah.
The streets of other towns, villages and refugee camps across the West bank and the Gaza Strip were heaving with similar protests Monday.
Clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and IOF soldiers were reported in the southern cities of Hebron and Bethlehem. Tens were injured in Hebron and witnesses said IOF imposed a curfew and fired teargas in the city, where about 500 illegal Jewish settlers live in a tense enclave surrounded by tens of thousands of Palestinian natives.
A Reuters journalist and at least 14 Palestinian youths were reported wounded in protests against IOF in Hebron on Monday.
In Bethlehem, at least two people were injured, witnesses said. The Israeli occupation army had no information on either incident.
Shopkeepers called a one-day strike Monday throughout the West Bank, closing virtually all stores. Palestinian schools were also closed.
IOF on Monday sealed off the Occupied Palestinian
Territory until further notice.