Teenager Shot By Israeli Forces in Beit Ommar During Funeral

1 December 2007

On Thursday at approximately 1pm dozens of Beit Ommar residents participated in a funeral of a local person who died the night before. The cemetery is located near the entrance to Beit Ommar and is overlooked by a massive Israeli Occupation Forces watchtower. Funerals in Beit Ommar have often been met with violence by IOF soldiers, who seem intent on disrupting any gathering of Palestinians, even if it is in mourning. Soldiers began shooting tear gas and live ammunition into the procession. One participant, 15 year-old Jaffar Ibrahim Yousef Awad, was shot in the torso with live ammunition. He was quickly carried by other residents to the clinic inside Beit Ommar as other young men, outraged at the attack on the funeral, filled the streets in protest.
After less than an hour, 4 jeeps and at least one armoured personnel carrier entered the village, declaring a curfew over a megaphone and ordering all the shops to immediately close. Dozens of people remained on the streets, making ad hoc roadblocks out of burning tires to prevent the jeeps from driving deeper into the village. IOF soldiers remained in Beit Ommar for over 4 hours, filling the streets and homes with tear gas, throwing dozens of sound grenades and shooting plastic-coated steel bullets. When an international activist with PSP asked why they were shooting one soldier simply shrugged, while another said that the young boys, over 200 meters away, were a danger to them because they were throwing stones.

As of Sunday, December 2, Jaffar had returned to his home where he is recuperating from his injury.