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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Israel kills 17-year-old Palestinian in “cold blood," injures 3 others

Palestinians mourn over the body of Imam Dweikat, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead by Israeli troops on December 29, 2014. AFP / Jaafar Ashtiyeh

Published Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A single bullet to the heart fired by an Israeli soldier was enough to kill 17-year-old Imam Jamil Ahmed Dweikat, a Palestinian teen from the town of Beita south of Nablus.

Nael Talat Thiab, who was walking alongside Imam in their home village, was also shot in the leg by Israeli Occupation Forces.

Laying in a hospital bed at Rafidia Public Hospital in the northern West Bank city of Nablus , the 17-year-old teen told Ma'an news agency that his friend was killed in "cold blood" by an Israeli soldier.

Nael Thiab, 17, mourns his friend. (Photo: Ma'an news agency)

Still in a state of shock, the first year secondary student recounted what had happened.
“We left school together after having finished an exam in Islamic education. On our way home, we decided to hang out in a park in the southern area of Beita,” Thiab said.
“As soon as we reached the park, we saw an Israeli soldier running toward us from a nearby hill. He shot at us four times, but we managed to escape. We started running and then suddenly, with a single shot, a bullet hit Imam directly in the heart,” the teen added.
"Imam then fell to the ground. I stopped and ran towards him but he told me to get away. 'Run! I've been shot,’ he cried. So I started running again, hoping I could escape and get help. But the same soldier who shot Imam opened fire at me and shot me in the leg," Thiab continued.

“Bleeding and in pain, I continued running. An ambulance was passing by and when it stopped the first thing I told the driver was that my friend and I weren’t even throwing stones or anything when we were shot.”

An Israeli spokeswoman claimed that the two youth were “hurling stones at a nearby road” – a repeated Israeli excuse to justify the shooting of Palestinians – when they got shot. When asked where exactly the “nearby road” was, she didn’t respond.

The Israeli cabinet approved early November a new legislation which will be added to the Israeli penal code and would allow the imposition of a prison sentence up to 20 years for those convicted of throwing stones or other objects at Israeli vehicles.

In November, Israeli forces detained at least four Palestinian children, aged 13 to 16, for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli cars, and attempted to detain two Palestinian children, a two-year-old and a nine-year old, on suspicion of throwing stones.

Imam is the 50th Palestinian to be killed in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces so far this year, and at least the 2,335th Palestinian to be killed by the Israeli military, including those killed in Gaza.

Unable to speak through his tears, Jamil Dweikat, Imam's father, was inconsolable, Ma’an reported.

Jamil was at work when he received a phone call saying that his son was shot and injured. It was only when he reached the hospital that he found out that his son was killed on the spot in cold blood.

Palestinians mourn over the body of Imam Dweikat, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead by Israeli troops on December 29, 2014. AFP / Jaafar Ashtiyeh

Following the brutal killing, the Fatah movement said public commemorations would be held on Tuesday in honor of Imam Dweikat.

Two more Palestinian teens injured by Israeli fire

Meanwhile, in another incident, the IOF opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle in the town of Beit Ummar north of al-Khalil, injuring two Palestinian teens.

The spokesman for the Beit Ummar Local Committee against Israel's Apartheid Wall and Settlements told Ma'an that the two were shot by Israeli soldiers at the main entrance to Beit Ummar.

He identified the teenagers as Mohammed Ibrahim Sabri Awad, 17, and Ayish Khalid Sabri Awad, 19.

Mohammed was shot in the head, while Ayish was shot in the thigh. Both were evacuated to al-Ahli hospital in al-Khalil around midnight.

An Israeli spokeswoman claimed that an improvised explosive device was allegedly "hurled" at an Israeli army position in the area.

"The forces fired at the suspected vehicle, which then fled the scene," she said.

The IOF repeatedly fire live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian youths during raids on Palestinian villages or while dispersing peaceful protesters in both the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.

So far in December, the IOF shot more than 20 Palestinians, including 7 teenagers.

According to a report published in early December by the Ahrar Center for Detainees' Studies and Human Rights, the IOF killed nine Palestinians in November alone, while tens of Palestinians, including children, have been wounded in protests or during Israeli incursions in Jerusalem and West Bank.

Also in November, three Palestinian youths aged 17 to 19 were injured by live ammunition fired at protesters by Israeli forces.

Moreover, three young Palestinians, including a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old, sustained severe cranial injuries after being hit by sponge bullets fired by Israeli forces.

Sponge rounds are made from high-density plastic with a foam-rubber head, and are fired from grenade launchers. Israeli police have been using them in Occupied Palestine and annexed East Jerusalem since the use of rubber-coated metal bullets was prohibited there, but protocol explicitly prohibits firing them at the upper body.

Since September 2000, following the Second Intifada, at least 9,100 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, including 2,053 Palestinian children, the equivalent of one Palestinian child being killed every three days for the past 14 years.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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