Autopsy Carried Out on Palestinian Teen Whose Death Sparked Rioting in E. Jerusalem

Police brace for resumption of unrest that broke out after Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut died of wounds sustained in clash with police last week.

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Gas station in French Hill, Jerusalem that was damaged by fire bombs, September 7, 2014.
Gas station in French Hill, Jerusalem that was damaged by fire bombs, September 7, 2014.Credit: Emil Salman

The autopsy of a Palestinian teenager who died on Sunday of injuries sustained in clashes with police a week earlier in East Jerusalem was carried out in Tel Aviv Monday afternoon. The funeral was scheduled for 5 P.M. Police in the capital were bracing for a resumption of the violence that broke out in Palestinian neighborhoods in the city after the death of Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut, 16, was announced on Sunday.

Police say that on August 31, Sunuqrut was throwing rocks during protests in the Wadi Joz neighborhood when an officer shot him in the leg with a foam-tipped bullet. They say he fell and hit his head, sustaining critical head injuries. But Sunuqrut’s family say police shot him in the head at close range with a rubber-tipped bullet. The family’s demand that a Palestinian pathologist of their choosing participate in the autopsy was granted. The autopsy was carried out at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in south Tel Aviv.

On Sunday there was rioting in a number of East Jerusalem neighborhoods after Sunuqrut’s death was reported. Jerusalem emergency services said two firebombs were thrown at pumps at a gas station in the French Hill neighborhood, and that rioters broke into a nearby convenience store, causing heavy damage.

A police spokesman said a man was lightly wounded in the A-Tur neighborhood after rocks were thrown at his vehicle and that teens threw rocks in the Isawiyah neighborhood.
Police closed the road between Isawiyah and French Hill, the main route into Isawiyah, as well as the road from the neighborhood to Mount Scopus was also closed, leaving only one road in and out of Isawiyah.

“Nearly 18,000 people live here, that’s collective punishment,” Isawiyah resident Mohammed Abu Houmous said, adding, “Half the children didn’t go to school today because of it.”
Eli Rosenfeld, the chairman of the French Hill Community Administration, called the unrest “a strategic escalation.”

“This is no terror cell of two or three terrorists who sneak in and throw a firebomb. It’s 40 to 50 people who went into the gas station and wreaked havoc in the neighborhood. There is no more warning. They could just as easily have continued on to the school. Block the road first of all, and make sure there is a constant presence of security troops. A police station needs to be positioned here, and at the same time [the state] must continue to invest in Isawiyah,” Rosenfeld said, adding, “Feelings are very hard now in French Hill. If they’re making the leap from coexistence to extremism here, that’s very frightening.”

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