Mehdi Abu Ayyesh, 17, Dies After Being Shot by the Israeli Military
Today, October 12, 2009, Mehdi Sa’id Abu Ayyesh finally succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Hebron. He was shot in the head with live ammunition, believed by his doctors to have been a .22 caliber bullet fired with a ruger rifle, which the Israeli military insists is “non-lethal”, on the evening of March 4, 2009 outside his home during an Israeli military invasion. Israeli forces said he threw rocks at them. He was taken to the hospital in Hebron, where he remained in a coma with bullet fragments in his brain, until his now-emaciated body finally rejected the ventilator and medications earlier this morning. Approximately 8,000 residents of Beit Ommar met his body when it was returned to the village, and held a huge funeral procession. As is routine in Beit Ommar, Israeli soldiers invaded the village during the funeral procession, firing massive amounts of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and some other unidentified gas that induced vomiting in some people. For over 5 hours, small groups of soldiers roamed the village on foot, shooting at groups of youth who gathered to confront the invading army with stones, recreating the conditions under which Mehdi was fatally wounded 7 months ago.