Palestinians Mourn Teenager Killed by Israeli Army near Bethlehem

The funeral of Mohammad Shehadeh, 14, who was killed by Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem. (Photo: via Palestine Online Twitter page)

Hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank village of Al-Khader, near the city of Bethlehem, took part on Wednesday in the funeral of 14-year-old Mohammad Shehadeh, who was killed on Tuesday by the Israeli army, The New Arab reported.

Palestinians in Bethlehem declared a one-day general strike in mourning of the minor on Wednesday, shutting down shops and institutions.

The teenager was killed by Israeli soldiers west of Al-Khader.

Local activist Ahmed Salah told The New Arab that Shehadeh had been shot in an area close to the Apartheid wall.

“Mohammad was some 100 meters away from the wall. Even if we admit that he had a Molotov cocktail, there is no way he could endanger soldiers from such distance,” he said.

“It is an area very close to a neighborhood where Israeli soldiers often conduct raids,” added Salah. “Boys in Mohammad’s age have grown up under Israeli raids. Just hours before his death, the Israeli army raided the old part of the village, blocked the area surrounding the school and clashed with students,” he also said.

Mohammad’s father, Rebhi Shehadeh, spoke to The New Arab during the burial procession. “I heard young men shouting that Mohammad had been shot, so I rushed to the spot”, he said, “Israeli soldiers had already arrived and prevented anyone from approaching.”

“I told them that I was his father, but a soldier pointed his rifle to my face and pushed me away,” he added.

According to his father, the boy’s body was initially taken away by Israeli soldiers, who gave it back to his family only on Wednesday morning.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing of the teenager, describing him as “a new victim of organized state terror”.

Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, expressed his concern over the killing, saying that “Israeli security forces must use extreme caution and only use fatal force when it is absolutely necessary to protect lives.”

According to local human rights groups, 78 Palestinian minors were killed by Israeli forces in 2021 alone.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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