Hundreds of people showed up for the funeral of a 14-year-old Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Husan.
Qusai Hamamrah’s death marked the second deadly shooting by Israeli forces in the village in five days and occurred in the midst of a series of violent incidents and clashes throughout the territory during the night.
Wrapped in the Palestinian flag, the boy’s body was carried through the village by men who hailed him as a martyr. Her mother told CNN she was worried after she warned Qusai not to go out after the family had finished the iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan.
“Right after he came out, I got the news that he was killed,” Umm Mohammed said. “He was such a nice guy, very thoughtful.”
The Israeli army said soldiers shot him after he threw them a Molotov cocktail.
“The IDF soldiers used live bullets to stop the immediate threat, in accordance with open fire regulations. A shot was identified. No IDF injuries were reported, “the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
An eyewitness told CNN that soldiers were shooting at someone else preparing incendiary bombs and that Qusai was seeking shelter from the bullets when he was hit. Ayman Hamamrah showed CNN holes in the wall of his house that he said were caused by live fire from Israeli soldiers.
A few meters from the house were several concrete blocks, in front of which Ghada Sabateen, 47, was shot by soldiers on Saturday. The military said troops shot her in the legs after she did not listen to the calls and warning shots to stop at the pop-up checkpoint. The Palestinian health ministry said she died from blood loss.
Dozens of soldiers and Israeli border police were again in the area on Thursday, fearing the funeral could spark further unrest in the village, which is a few kilometers west of Bethlehem.
Tension is high in Israel and the West Bank as Israeli forces step up operations in the face of what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called a “new wave of terrorism”: four attacks in Israeli towns and cities that killed 14 people.
Both Israeli and Palestinian sources reported renewed violence in several locations in the West Bank on Wednesday night.
A 20-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during clashes in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, the Palestinian health ministry said. Omar Alyan called him and said he had been shot in the chest. At least five others were treated with live fire wounds, the ministry said. The social media video showed significant unrest in the village Wednesday night, with hundreds of people throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles passing through the city.
In a statement, Israeli security officials said its forces were carrying out operations in the area related to the search for a 33-year-old Hamas member who had escaped from a Palestinian Authority prison.
The Shin Bet statement said Maad Hamed – in prison for his role in a fire attack that killed an Israeli man in 2015 – was arrested in the nearby village of Kobar. An unknown number of people in Silwad were also arrested on charges of “promoting terrorist activities”.
Additionally, two Palestinians were killed Thursday morning in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Jenin, in the northern West Bank, has been at the center of Israeli security operations in recent days because two of the Palestinian gunmen who carried out recent attacks inside Israel were from the area.
An Israeli military statement said security forces arrested a total of 18 people suspected of terrorist activity during night operations in the West Bank, as well as confiscating weapons.
This story has been updated.