Two Israeli teenagers killed in a drive-by shooting attack in the West Bank over the weekend were laid to rest Sunday in Jerusalem.
Avichai Levy and Aviad Mantzur, both aged 17, were shot by two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire from their car as it passed a hitchhiking station close to the settlement of Beit Haggai, near Hebron.
Hundreds of people joined Levy's funeral procession, which started in Beit Haggai on its way to Jerusalem. During the procession, there were two attacks by settlers on Palestinians in the Hebron area.
One Palestinian was attacked by a settler and suffered moderate injuries. An empty store in Hebron's Gross Square was set on fire. No arrests were made during the disorder, but police sources said they did not think the mourners were involved.
The procession stopped at the plaza overlooking the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and the stretcher bearing Mantzur's body was laid facing the office. The mourners, some dressed in orange, arrived in buses and cars and surrounded the stretcher.
One by one they climbed onto a pickup truck serving as an improvised stage and addressed the audience. The ceremony, like the procession, was relatively reserved. Mantzur's mother, Hava, mourned her son. "I, your mother, am so confused. More than the disengagement, I fear the polarization it causes. More than once we told each other that there is one nation of Israel. Israel's strength is in unity and love between each other," she said.
She gazed at the stretcher and addressed her son: "Now that you're up there, ask the Almighty to protect the nation of Israel and its unity."
She told the mourners that she had asked to see her son's body for one last time and had bid him farewell in the morgue in Otniel. She showed the crowd the slogan she found on Avichai's clothes - "We've got love and love will triumph." Noam Arnon, the spokesman of the Jewish settlement in Hebron blasted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and said: "He who sits in that office is to blame," pointing to Sharon's office.
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