Israeli soldiers clash with thousands of Palestinian protesters in Hebron
The city stops for the funeral of Abu Maysara Hamduveh, a Palestinian prisoner who died in an Israeli jail. For Abbas, the release of prisoners remains a "priority" for any agreement with Israel.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters clashed in Hebron during the funeral of Abu Maysara Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian prisoner who died on 2 April from throat cancer. Before taking to the city's streets, thousands of people rallied near the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, throwing Molotov cocktails after two young militants were killed trying to firebomb a military post.

Abu Hamdiyeh, 64, was serving a life sentence for a failed attempt at a cafe in Jerusalem in 2002. His death, which Palestinians blame on Israeli negligence, is another blow at Israeli-Palestinian relations since Palestine became a non-member country in the United Nations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said the freeing of prisoners held by Israel was a "priority" for West Bank leaders.

"The Palestinian leadership gives priority to the prisoners issue and ending their suffering," Abbas said in a speech to a meeting of his Fatah party in Ramallah, "especially those arrested before the Oslo accords, and sick, child and women prisoners" as well as those arrested in recent years.  

Tensions are also up also in the Gaza Strip. Today, Palestinian militants fired several rockets into Israeli territory where air raid sirens blared across towns in the Negev near the Gaza border.