In the wake of allegations that bus driver Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni was killed by "Israeli settlers", Palestinian terror organization Hamas called for an escalation [of violence] against Israel, Walla! News has reported.
Al-Ramuni, an Egged bus driver from the A-Tur neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, was found hanged on Sunday night in his bus at the Har Hotzvim industrial zone bus depot in northern Jerusalem.
His death, an apparent suicide, is quickly being portrayed by some other Arabs as a "murder" to incite riots.
According to Palestinian news agency Al-Ra'i, Hamas responded to al-Ramuni's death with the following statement: "This murder proves Israel's racism and the reaction to it should be an escalation of resistance by any means."
Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishq also took to Twitter, writing on his account that, "the blood of martyr Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni, who was murdered by hanging in Jerusalem, will become a fire engulfing Israel."
"The terrorism of settlers continues under the leadership of the criminal Netanyahu as well as extremist gangs. They incite and commit crimes against our people."
Hamas' response comes after several Palestinian groups in eastern Jerusalem broadcast an announcement via mosque loudspeakers Monday, calling for a general strike of Arab workers and bus drivers in Jerusalem. "The strike is a response to the murder of al-Ramuni by Jews," the message stated.
Arab riots also broke out Monday in the A-Tur neighborhood as well as Abu Dis in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
Although police believe al-Ramuni, 32, committed suicide as opposed to being killed, because of "no signs of violence on the body," al-Ramuni's family and friends disagree with their assessment.
In Monday's issue of the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, the family claimed al-Ramuni had been lynched by four or six Jewish men - beaten and then hung by a cord around his neck.
Al-Ramuni's brother Osama told AFP that al-Ramuni's body "had bruises on it," and that his brother was "tortured" before dying. "My brother had children and was a happy man. It is impossible that he killed himself."
Another brother, Louie, also dismissed the initial investigation's theory of suicide, telling Reuters: I saw the body tonight and saw bruising and signs that he had been beaten. There were fingerprints on the body and signs that he seemed to have been hit with a blunt instrument."
"We reject the suicide theory. We all know it was settlers who killed him," Osama al-Ramuni accused.
The body of al-Ramuni has been sent to the Abu Kabir forensic institute in Tel Aviv for a post-mortem in coordination and cooperation with the family, according to police.