Palestinian injured at funeral of boy killed by Israel troops in West Bank

Boy, 12, died hours after being rushed to nearby hospital

Clashes broke out on Thursday between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at the funeral of a Palestinian boy killed the day before in the occupied West Bank.

Mohamad Al Alami, 12, died on Wednesday after being shot by Israeli soldiers while travelling in a car with his father in the town of Beit Ummar northwest of Hebron, Palestinian authorities said.

The Israeli military said one of its soldiers shot at the car's wheels after concluding that the vehicle had been involved in "suspicious activity" earlier in the day. Palestinians dispute the account.

"We are looking into the claim that a Palestinian minor was killed as a result of the gunfire," the Israeli military said. "The incident is being reviewed by senior commanding officers."

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the boy was shot in the chest in the Palestinian village of Beit Ummar, near Hebron in the southern West Bank.

He died several hours after being rushed to a nearby hospital.

A procession followed the boy's body, draped in the flag of Fatah, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's party, through the streets of Beit Ummar, where he was buried.

Later, hundreds of Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded by firing tear gas, AFP reported.

The West Bank is among the territories that Palestinians seek for a future state. Violence has simmered there since US-sponsored talks between Palestine and Israel broke down in 2014.

The military said troops at the scene saw two men approach the area by car earlier in the day, left their vehicle and then "[dug] in the ground before leaving the scene".

Troops "approached the scene with caution and upon examination found two bags, one of which contained the body of a newborn infant", the military said.

Beit Ummar's Mayor, Nasri Sabarneh, said that a village family had buried their dead newborn daughter in the area on Wednesday.

Troops "stormed the cemetery and exhumed the girl's grave hours after her burial", Mr Sabarneh told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Later on Wednesday, the military said, troops saw what they believed to be the same vehicle approach the area.

"The troops attempted to stop the vehicle using standard procedures, including shouting and firing warning shots into the air," it said.

"After the vehicle did not stop, one of the soldiers fired toward the vehicle's wheels in order to stop it."

Updated: July 29th 2021, 2:40 PM
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