Palestinian Teen Killed in Confrontation With Israeli Army Near Hebron

According to the IDF, soldiers saw Palestinians throwing firebombs and opened fire, wounding Murad Yussef Abu Razi. Palestinians say shooting was unwarranted as teen didn't endanger soldiers.

Mourners during the funeral of Murad Abu Ghazi at Al-Aroub Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, March 18, 2017.
Mourners during the funeral of Murad Abu Ghazi at al-Aroub Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, March 18, 2017. HAZEM BADER/AFP

A 16-year-old Palestinian youth, Murad Yussef Abu Razi, was shot to death by the IDF near the al-Arroub refugee camp close to Hebron on Friday.

According to the IDF, soldiers saw Palestinians throwing firebombs at Route 60 and opened fire, wounding Abu Razi and another Palestinian youth, who sustained moderate-to-severe wounds. Palestinian medical personnel evacuated the two to a Hebron hospital, where Abu Razi was pronounced dead. The hospital said he was shot in the chest.

Murad Yussef Abu Razi.

A military investigation of the incident has yet to be completed. Military Police is expected to open an investigation into the circumstances of Abu Razi's death, in accordance with the military prosecution's policy in any case in which a Palestinian is killed not as a result of "actual combat action."

Sources in the al-Arroub refugee camp said the teens were shot with no justification and the soldiers could have arrested them. A resident of the camp who was at the scene told Haaretz that the two teens had approached a military post and threw firebombs from a distance of 60-70 meters and that they exploded without causing damage. According to the resident, the soldiers who shot the teens were at a distance from the post, and Abu Razi hadn’t even noticed them. "I'm sure that if the soldiers were to chase them, they could have stopped them," he said.

Clashes broke out at Abu Razi's funeral on Saturday between dozens of Palestinians and the IDF and Border police, who used riot-control measures. A soldier and a border policeman were lightly wounded by rocks. According to a report from the Maan news agency, eight Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets. Hundreds attended the funeral, during which calls for revenge were heard. 

Meanwhile, in Dahariya, also in the Hebron region, the funeral took place of Said Kisiyeh, who was killed at the beginning of the month during a stabbing attack, and whose body was held by Israel until the weekend. 

The two funerals took place a day after the funeral of Basil al-Araj. Araj was shot and killed by police special forces on March 6 in Al-Bireh after they surrounded the house in which he was hiding. Araj, who Israel defined as a wanted person, was among the leaders of the boycott movement in the West Bank, and called for an end to security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and his death led to protests against the PA. During the funeral hundreds called for revenge and an end to security cooperation with Israel.