Yousef Amira Dies in Ramallah Hospital

5 August 2008

Yousef Ahmed Amira, 19, who was shot in the head by two plastic-coated steel bullets by the Israeli Occupation Forces after the funeral of 10 year old Ahmed Mousa in Ni’lin on July 30, died of his wounds on August 4th. Later that day, hundreds of men from Ni’lin and surrounding villages went to meet his body at a Ramallah hospital. When entering Ramallah, the procession was stopped by Palestinian Authority police who arrested 6 men for carrying Hamas flags. The mayor of Ni’lin pleaded with the police to avoid confrontation and release the men but it was not until part of the procession marched to the Palestinian Authority police station that they were released. (The PA, taken over by Fateh in the West Bank, has been increasing its crackdown on Hamas recently throughout the territory). After this unnecessary interference, the procession met the ambulance and made its way back to Ni’lin.

When the funeral reached the entrance to Ni’lin, several people began to unravel a massive Palestinian flag. The Israeli soldiers and border police that had been stationed outside the village all day reacted immediately and violently, tear gassing the crowd and throwing several sound grenades. They also shot rubber-coated steel bullets, the same that had killed Yousef Amira days before. The procession finally entered the village where even more people joined in, swelling the crowd to several thousand as it made its way to the family home and then on to the local mosque before finally bringing the body of the young ‘martyr’ (a phrase used to describe anyone who is killed by Occupation forces) to the graveyard.