Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at funeral of Palestinian boy

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians attending the funeral of a Palestinian boy killed the day before in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli media reported.

Mohammed al-Alami, 12, died on Wednesday after being shot by Israeli soldiers while travelling in a car with his father in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar northwest of Hebron, Palestinian authorities said.

On Thursday a procession followed the boy’s body, draped in the flag of Fatah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s party, through the streets of Beit Ummar, where he was buried.

Israeli troops shot and killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man, Palestinian health officials said. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man, identified as Shaukat Awad, was shot in the head and abdomen during the confrontations in Beit Ummar.

Later, hundreds of Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded by firing tear gas, an AFP correspondent said.

Videos shared on social media showed the town’s streets trashed with debris and stones following the confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

Israel investigating the shooting

Nasri Sabarneh, mayor of the town, said on Wednesday that the father was driving with his son and daughter when Mohammed asked him to stop at a shop to buy something.

The father made a U-turn, the mayor said, and Israeli troops nearby began shouting at him to stop. A soldier then opened fire at the vehicle, fatally shooting the boy in the chest.

Sabarneh said he knows the family, who lives in town, and had spoken to the father. The father and daughter were not hurt, he said.

“They took my heart from me, they snatched it from me,” the boy’s father told Haaretz.

The Israeli army said they are investigating the killing of the minor.

Earlier, the Israeli army said that its soldiers had noticed men getting out of a vehicle and digging in the ground near Beit Ummar checkpoint before leaving. Upon checking the area, the soldiers found two bags, one of which contained the body of a newborn child, it said in a statement.

The soldiers had later spotted the vehicle again and attempted to stop it using standard procedures, including shouting and firing warning shots into the air.

“After the vehicle did not stop, one of the soldiers fired towards the vehicle’s wheels in order to stop it,” the army said.

“We are looking into the claim that a Palestinian minor was killed as a result of the gunfire,” it said, adding the incident was being reviewed by senior commanding officers.

Alami was the second young Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in days, after 17-year-old Mohammed Munir al-Tamimi died on Saturday of gunshot wounds suffered the day before in the Palestinian village of Beita.

And late on Tuesday, a 41-year-old Palestinian was shot dead, also near Beita, the Palestinian health ministry said.

All Jewish settlements in the West Bank are regarded as illegal by most of the international community.

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