Chanting "Revenge! Revenge!" and shaking their fists, thousands of Palestinians marched in a funeral procession Thursday for a top Hamas bombmaker whose death they blame on Israel.
The circumstances of Mohiyedine Sharif's death remained in dispute Thursday. Sharif's body was found Sunday at the scene of a car bombing; Israel says he was killed when a Hamas bomb exploded prematurely but Palestinian police say he had been shot in the chest and already was dead when the bomb exploded.Palestinian police stayed away from the funeral procession as it snaked through the town of Ramallah, with young men carrying Sharif's corpse, wrapped in a white-and-green blanket, on a stretcher. Sharif's scorched face and upper body were exposed. At least 6,000 people joined the march.
"We want to hear explosions in Tel Aviv. Blow them up! Blow them up!" chanted a group of women, slapping their faces in grief. Young men, some crying and others shaking their fists, shouted "Revenge, revenge!" Marchers carried green Islamic flags.
Mourners jostled for a chance to briefly touch the body or carry the stretcher. "In response to his assassination, thousands of Israelis must go down," said one of the marchers, Abbas Shihab, his fist clenched.
After the burial, hundreds of mourners ran toward a nearby Jewish settlement and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired back tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. Ten Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and 10 others were treated for tear-gas inhalation, Palestinian hospital officials said.
Israeli officials have denied Israeli involvement in Sharif's death.
Sharif's funeral march turned into a show of force for Hamas, the chief political rival of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and a staunch opponent of peacemaking with Israel.