January 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian mourners clashed with Israeli troops who used tear gas and rubber-coated bullets after the funeral of a youth in the West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian witnesses and the army said.

The mourners hurled rocks at soldiers after the funeral of Youssef Fakhri-Khlil, 17, who died of his wounds after being shot by Jewish settlers in the West Bank on Friday.

An army spokeswoman said troops responded with "riot dispersal means".

Palestinian medical workers at the scene said 16 protesters had been treated for gas inhalation and six others had been hit by the rubber-coated steel pellets, although none of the injuries was serious.

An Israeli police spokesman said two Israelis of 20 that were questioned on Friday had been detained for further investigation.

The Israeli emergency service Zaka said settlers had been shot at by Palestinians while hiking in the area, and had returned fire.

The shooting incident was the second in two days after 19-year-old Oday Kaddous was shot dead on Thursday near the city of Nablus, further north in the occupied West Bank.

Six Palestinians have died in the West Bank in various incidents involving Israeli troops since the start of 2011.

Violence in the West Bank has largely subsided in the past few years, but Israeli military officials have warned in private that the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could stoke tensions and break the status quo.

The Palestinian Government Media Centre called on the international community "to do more to prevent attacks on Palestinian civilians ... The Israeli government cannot evade its responsibility for these cold-blooded crimes. The killers must be brought to justice and punished," a statement said.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017