Lebanon mourns the Hezbollah protesters killed in an Israeli fire


Hundreds of people with Palestinian flags and the yellow colors of Hezbollah gathered in southern Lebanon on Saturday to bury a Lebanese protester who had been killed by Israeli fire the day before.

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Hundreds of people with Palestinian flags and the yellow colors of Hezbollah gathered in southern Lebanon on Saturday to bury a Lebanese protester who had been killed by Israeli fire the day before.

Mohamad Kassem Tahan, a member of the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, protested on the Lebanese border against the Jewish state’s recent attack on the Gaza Strip when he was hit by Israeli shells.

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This came after some young demonstrators tried to get into the northern Israeli border town of Metulla, according to Lebanese state media.

A funeral was held in Tahan’s hometown of Adloun on Saturday to coincide with the anniversary of the Nakba, the “catastrophe” of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the founding of Israel in 1948.

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Hezbollah fighters in military clothing carried the 21-year-old’s coffin, wrapped in the movement’s yellow flag, through a crowd of mourners to hear pro-Palestinian chants and sporadic gunfire.

“Death to Israel!” they sang.

“We will go to Jerusalem, and the martyrs will be in the millions!”

Hezbollah, a major enemy of Israel, declared Tahan a “martyr” on Friday, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun condemned a “crime by the Israeli armed forces”.

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Tahan’s friend Karim spoke to AFP at the funeral and called him “a very loving young man”.

“He was loved in Adloun. He helped everyone even when he was busy,” said the 17-year-old.

Next to him, a group of Tahan’s friends wept on a sofa while outside copies of his portraits lined the streets that led to the burial site.

The funeral took place as dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered along the southern border to commemorate the Nakba and denounce Israeli violence in Gaza and Jerusalem.

According to AFP correspondents in the region, they gathered in various locations, including in the Lebanese border towns of Maroun Al-Ras and Adaisseh.

They were surrounded by Lebanese soldiers who had set up checkpoints and blocked roads to the border to avoid escalation, state media said.

State-run ANI news agency said Palestinian protesters clashed with security forces blocking their way to the border in the Marjayoun region.

Protesters in the Kfar Kela district near the border climbed a partition wall and hung a Hezbollah and a Palestinian flag on a watchtower, an AFP correspondent said. He also saw them throw stones against the wall and heard shots from the Israeli side.

Ahead of the protest on Saturday, an Israeli army spokesman warned Lebanon not to allow “rioters” to approach the border.

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His testimony came after the Israeli army alleged they had thwarted a nighttime attempt by a group of Lebanese infiltrators to cross the border near the town of Metulla.

The army said the infiltrators planted items believed to be explosives before escaping back to Lebanon under Israeli fire.

Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon near the Palestinian refugee camp Rashidiyeh in the direction of Israel on Thursday, a Lebanese military source said.

Israel’s army said the missiles landed in the sea.

A source close to Hezbollah said the Shiite group had no connection to the incident.

Israel occupied much of southern Lebanon from its 1982 invasion to its withdrawal in 2000, in what was seen as a victory for Hezbollah’s “resistance”.

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