Israeli soldiers Tuesday broke up a funeral procession for a Palestinian teenager by jumping aboard a van carrying the body and forcing it to drive away.
About 100 Palestinian mourners responded by throwing rocks and firebombs at the soldiers, who fired rubber and metal bullets to disperse the crowd.Four Israeli soldiers jumped aboard a red van carrying the body of Nazem Abu Juda after the Palestinians in the procession began throwing stones.
Two army jeeps forced the van, driven by a Palestinian, to accompany the soldiers to a location the army refused to disclose.
An army spokesman, who is not identified under regulations, said the body was taken to halt a large demonstration. He said it would be returned "at a time when we know it would not cause disturbances in Bethlehem."
During the disturbance, soldiers shot a 19-year-old man in the side with a plastic bullet, Arab witnesses said. The army confirmed one man was wounded. At least five people were arrested.
The funeral was for Abu Juda, 18, who died early Tuesday after being shot in the head with a plastic bullet Sept. 28 in a clash with soldiers, according to residents and officials at the nearby Dheishe Refugee Camp where the boy lived.