Hundreds of Palestinians have held the funeral of a teenager killed by Israeli forces near the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
The procession on Saturday in Arroub refugee camp saw people mourning the death a day earlier of Murad Yussef Abu Ghazi outside the camp, located near the city.
The 16-year-old was reportedly killed after Israelis alleged that he was planning an attack on Israeli forces.
A source in Israeli police said forces opened fire at Yussef after “firebombs were hurled at passing vehicles.” Israelis also injured another Palestinian and reports on Saturday said 17-year-old Saif Salim Rushdi was in a critical condition.
Yussef's funeral came hours after a similar massive procession in the city of Bethlehem for Basel al-Araj, a Palestinian activist who had been killed by Israeli forces in Ramallah nearly two weeks ago. The 31-year-old had been rained with bullets after an alleged attack. Israelis released his body on Friday afternoon.
Araj was respected by many in the West Bank as a freedom fighter, an intellectual, and a theorist. His death at the hands of Israelis prompted huge anger across the occupied territory.
Since October 2015, Israelis have embarked on a killing spree of Palestinians suspected of launching attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers. About 250 Palestinians have been killed, many of them on the sole suspicion of carrying knives or because they clashed with soldiers at checkpoints.
Rights group have criticized Israel’s unlawful and unjustified killing of Palestinians, especially minors, over attempted attacks on Israeli forces. Video evidence and investigations by rights group have rejected claims by the Israeli military that teenagers killed by soldiers, including Yussef Abu Ghazi, threw Molotov cocktails at settlers and soldiers.
Palestinians, indeed, have increased targeted attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers over the past three years, saying the assaults have been in retaliation for Israel’s alleged plans for changing the status quo of the al-Aqsa Mosque, a highly revered place for all Muslims. Reports say 41 Israeli soldiers and settlers as well as two foreigners have been killed during the time span.