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HEBRON (April 2) - As the thousands who attended the funeral of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass yesterday in Hebron's ancient cemetery began to disperse, Palestinian gunmen shot at Gross Square, not far from the Avraham Avinu quarter. Soldiers returned fire.

"That's the reality we live in," commented one woman, adding "A single bullet killed Shalhevet, and still the gunfire continues. When will the government wake up to what is happening? This is no dispute, this is a war!"

A heavy IDF deployment was evident along the Jerusalem-Hebron highway. APCs and newly established army posts guarded the roads, and army roadblocks allowed only Israeli vehicles to pass through. In Hebron itself, a large number of soldiers secured the route from the Machpela Cave through Shuhada Street to the steep ascent to the cemetery. Outside the Machpela Cave, the crowd heard members of the Jewish community, among them Shalhevet's teenage aunt, speak about the little baby they had loved.

Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior declared, "This is not the first time since our return to the city of our forefathers that we have accompanied victims - civilians and soldiers - on their final journey... But to accompany a little baby, less than a year old..."

Setting out for the cemetery in a wheelchair, Yitzhak Pass, held his daughter's tiny body for the last time before passing it over to her two grandfathers. At Gross Square, near the entrance to the Avraham Avinu quarter, the crowd halted, as Hebron Jewish community spokesman Noam Arnon turned towards the Abu Sneneh neighborhood and called on the government to order the IDF to retake the hill from which Palestinian gunmen shoot at the Jewish community.

"Right now [the Palestinians] are watching us through their telescopic sites, sitting there with Israeli government approval - the government that gave them weapons... the Nazi Arab murderer who had 10-month-old Shalhevet in his telescopic sight and killed her in cold blood... Sharon, what are you waiting for? The bullet that killed Shalhevet was given to them by the Israeli government!"

At Kikar Hashoter, which was blocked off by two APCs, Palestinians threw several stones at the crowd, and several Jewish youths began to throw stones back. They were stopped by organizers of the funeral, who had called on the public to refrain from acts of vengeance and demanded that any response to the Palestinian violence be left to security forces to deal with.

In the cemetery surrounded by Palestinian homes, the crowd stood in the hot sun on the grassy slopes with soldiers guarding the area. Yitzhak Pass stood, sobbing as he recited kaddish, as the crowd passed around a large poster of Shalhevet with the caption, "Shalhevet - retake the Abu Sneneh hilltop now!"

On their way back toward the Machpela Cave, several Jewish youths and women attempted to run past soldiers deployed at Gross Square towards the Abu Sneneh neighborhood. The soldiers barred their way, returning several who managed to get halfway up the hill.

"Don't you realize it's dangerous to go up there?" said a female soldier to one of the Jewish women. The woman replied, "They shoot at us all the time. What do you expect me to do, hide under my bed and wait until it goes away?"