Thousands Attend Funeral of 12-year-old Gazan Reportedly Killed by Israeli Fire

Majdi Al-Satari was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper when he approached the border fence during Friday's protest, Gaza's Health Ministry says

Majdi Al-Satari's relatives at his funeral in Rafah, July 28, 2018.
Khalil Hamra/AP

Thousands of people attended the funeral of Majdi al-Satari, 12, in Gaza on Saturday, a day after the boy was reportedly shot in the head by an Israeli sniper during protests along the Israel-Gaza border.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, Al-Satari was shot when he approached the border fence together with some of his friends. The 12-year old was a resident of Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza.

Razi Abu Mustafa, 43, and Muamen Fathi Elhamas, 17, were also killed by Israeli army fire, authorities in Gaza reported. 

Al-Satari's mother said she asked him not to go to the protest because she feared for his life: "I knew that the Israelis were not making any distinction and shooting the children." She said her son dreamed of becoming a soccer player and was preparing to enter the sixth grade in the UNRWA school in the camp.

Al-Satari's story made rounds on social media as a result of a theater play in which he participated several weeks ago, where he played the role of a shahid (martyr) killed while approaching the fence to raise the Palestinian flag during a protest. Friends who acted alongside him said the play had become a painful reality for them.

On Saturday, the United Nations' Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov slammed Israel over the killing of the 12-year-old Palestinian, writing on Twitter that Israeli fire in Gaza is both "shocking and tragic," and "it's time for this to stop."

According to the ministry, a total of 264 Palestinian demonstrators were injured in clashes, 90 of whom were wounded by live fire. Of those wounded, 10 are in serious condition.

According to the IDF, some 7,000 Palestinians participated in demonstrations along the border, with several violent riots breaking out in which protesters threw stones and tear gas canisters, and burned tires