Palestinian Teen Shot by Jerusalem Police Dies of Wounds

Family says Mohammed Sunuqrut, 16, was shot with a rubber bullet at close range; police: He was shot in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet, fell and hurt his head.

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Undercover police detain a man suspected of throwing stones in Wadi Joz, Jerusalem, July 25, 2014.
Undercover police detain a man suspected of throwing stones in Wadi Joz, Jerusalem, July 25, 2014.Credit: Reuters

A Palestinian teenager who was critically wounded last week during a protest in East Jerusalem died on Sunday.

The 16-year old’s relatives said he was shot in the head at close range with a rubber-coated bullet. Jerusalem police rejected their accusation, claiming that the boy, Mohammed Sunuqrut, had been shot in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet, fell and hurt his head.

On Thursday, doctors at the Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, told the family that Sunuqrut was clinically dead.

Sunuqrut is the first person to be seriously hurt in the wave of violence washing over East Jerusalem since the beginning of July. Palestinian officials had said that if Sunuqrut would die, it could trigger more violence in the city.

The incident occurred on August 31 in the Wadi Joz neighborhood, not far from the family's home. The teen’s uncle, Motabi Sunuqrut, said the boy had not even taken part in the demonstrations and the area was quiet at the time of the incident.

“Ten minutes earlier I returned home and nothing was happening. He left home and was talking to his aunt on the phone, when suddenly he was shot at close range. After he fell the soldiers went on beating him and wouldn’t let anyone come near him to treat him,” he said.

Relatives said only after 20 minutes was the boy taken to nearby Al Mokassed Hospital. He was later transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem.

The Jerusalem Police said that after the boy was seen throwing stones, he fled from officers who shot him in the leg. He then fell and injured his head. The Jerusalem Police added that they don’t use the so-called “rubber-coated bullets.”

Following the boy's death on Sunday, Hamas official Hussam Badran said in a Facebook post that the "[Israeli] occupation wants to clean Jerusalem from the presence of Palestinians. This is why [Israel] demolishes homes of Palestinians, arrests teenagers and kills children. We will remain in Jerusalem to drive out and deter the occupiers."

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