Israeli police clashed with hundreds of Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem on Friday at the funeral of an Arab teenager, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who Palestinians said was killed by Israeli extremists.
Thousands of people chanted slogans calling for a renewed uprising against Israel as his body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, arrived by ambulance on Friday afternoon at a mosque in his neighborhood of Shuafat in East Jerusalem.
Abu Khdeir’s body was found Wednesday in a forest outside Jerusalem after he was kidnapped near his home.
Palestinians have accused Israeli extremists of perpetrating the killing, saying it was a revenge attack for three Israeli teens who were recently abducted and killed in the West Bank.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police clashed with hundreds of Palestinians in the nearby neighborhoods of Ras al-Amud and Wadi al-Joz.
Stones thrown at Israeli police were met by tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets in one of the most highly charged displays of enmity in Jerusalem in years.
Despite the tensions, Mohieedin Abu Khdeir — a cousin of the dead teen’s father and an elder in the family — told Al Jazeera that the outpouring of community support at the funeral was “something so beautiful” but that he doubted the boy’s death would be investigated thoroughly.
“From what I see, I don’t think they will investigate [this as] a serious matter. They probably know who they [the perpetrators] are. The Palestinians are not important,” said Mohieedin Abu Khdeir, who lives in Baltimore.
The day had been calm before Friday prayers, police said, after two days of protests since the boy’s death.
Israeli police told Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s father to collect the body on Friday afternoon after two days of forensic tests and a postmortem examination.
Already tense Israeli-Palestinian relations have worsened after the three Israeli teenagers, one of whom had U.S. citizenship, were abducted in the West Bank on June 12, sparking a massive search operation that ended with the discovery of their bodies early this week.
Israel blamed Hamas for the abductions. Hamas, which has abducted Israelis before, praised the kidnapping of the teens but did not take responsibility for it. Nor has Israel provided any evidence of the group's complicity in the crime.
Israel launched a massive, and at times deadly, crackdown on the group in the West Bank after the teens' disappearance. Hamas responded with rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, which were met with Israeli airstrikes. Netanyahu on Thursday threatened to use ground forces unless the attacks stopped.
The military says about 140 rockets have been fired at southern Israel in recent weeks. The air force responded with airstrikes on about 70 targets in Gaza, according to the military.
The border area was calmer Friday morning, but attacks from Gaza continued. At least six rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, and two exploded prematurely in Gaza, the military said.
Hamas, whose armed cadres Israel accuses of carrying out some of the rocket strikes this week, said it was in contact with Egyptian mediators trying to prevent further flare-ups.
“Hamas stressed that it was not interested in a confrontation, and the occupation [Israel] was responsible for the escalation against our people, and they have to stop it,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
On Friday, Egypt was mediating a possible cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. “There are continuing Egyptian efforts to return calm to the Gaza Strip, but no agreement has been reached yet,” a Hamas official told Agence France-Presse, on condition of anonymity.
Philip J. Victor contributed to this report, with Al Jazeera and wire services.