Israeli soldier executed Gaza teen at close range: witness

A Palestinian woman participates in protests in eastern Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 12 October.

Ashraf Amra APA images

An Israeli soldier killed a Palestinian teen along Gaza’s boundary when the detained youth tried to escape, according to a reporter who witnessed the shooting.

The slain Palestinian, identified as Ahmad Abdallah Abu Naim, 17, was one of seven killed during mass protests along Gaza’s boundary with Israel on Friday.

Journalist Muhammad Mahawish said that Abu Naim was among a group that had crossed the fence along central Gaza’s eastern boundary with Israel.

“The occupation forces fired directly towards them, which led to the injury of one Palestinian,” according to Muhawish, who describes the incident in the above video.

When soldiers tried to detain the wounded protester, the latter attempted to flee.

“After he tried to escape, he was shot and immediately executed,” Muhawish stated.

An image appears to show the soldier in close contact with Abu Naim just before the teen was fatally shot:

Al Mezan, a human rights group based in Gaza, said that Abu Naim was shot in the stomach with live fire.

Two others among the group of around 20 protesters who breached the Gaza-Israel boundary fence and approached army positions were also killed, the Israeli military told media.

Israel’s Ynet reported that the group had used a bomb to explode part of the fence. After the group crossed the fence, “soldiers responded with open fire, pushing them back into Gaza. However, three Palestinians continued to approach the [army] post and were shot to death as a result.”

Palestinians carried the bodies of the slain protesters back to Gaza, according to the military. No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident.

In addition to Abu Naim, Al Mezan reported the killing of three protesters along the eastern boundary of central Gaza: Ahmad al-Tawil, 22, Abdallah al-Daghma, 25, and Muhammad Ismail, 29.

Two protesters were also killed east of Gaza City: Muhammad Abbas, 21, and Afifi Afifi, 18. The health ministry reported that Tamer Iyad Mahmoud Abu Armana, 22, was killed east of Rafah in southernmost Gaza. All were injured by live fire, according to Al Mezan.

Graphic video shows the moment when Abu Armana was shot:

More than 160 Palestinians, including 33 children, have been killed during mass demonstrations along Gaza’s boundary with Israel since the launch of the Great March of Return protests six months ago.

Israel is withholding the bodies of 10 Palestinians slain along the boundary, including two children, according to Al Mezan.

More than 250 others were injured during Friday’s protests, some 180 of them by live fire, the rights group said. A paramedic and four media workers were among those injured.

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political wing, was injured by tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during the protests:

Israel to halt Gaza fuel deliveries

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he had ordered a halt to fuel deliveries to Gaza after the breaching of the boundary fence, a measure of collective punishment against Gaza’s vulnerable population.

“Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” Lieberman stated.

Several truckloads of fuel funded by Qatar were brought into Gaza via Israel in recent days as stocks needed to keep essential services running amid a longstanding electricity crisis depleted over the past several weeks.

“Over the month, the number of trucks per day is expected to rise to 15,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations secretary-general, stated on Tuesday.

“In addition to other long-term efforts underway to increase the energy supply, additional fuel for the Gaza power plant remains the fastest and most immediate way to increase electricity to help alleviate the humanitarian and related public health needs on the ground,” Dujarric added.

The UN has been brokering indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in order to pull Gaza back from the brink of collapse after more than a decade of siege, repeated military assaults and an impasse between the Palestinian authorities in Gaza and the West Bank.

Citing Hamas sources, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Friday that UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick delivered a list of Israel’s preconditions for easing the tightened blockade on Gaza and returning the status quo that followed the August 2014 ceasefire that ended 51 days of bombardment in the territory.

Israel’s demands include an end to provocations including the planting of explosives along the boundary and an end to the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza.

Hamas is in turn calling for a 50 megawatt increase of available electricity as a first step towards resolving the crisis entirely, according to Al-Akhbar. Households in Gaza have on average only four hours of electricity per day.

The resistance group and political party also reportedly demands the expansion of the permitted fishing area off Gaza’s coast to 12 nautical miles initially and then to 20 miles, as is stipulated in the Oslo accords signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s.

Hamas also wants Israel to permit unrestricted imports and exports from Gaza, permits for 5,000 laborers from Gaza to work inside Israel, and the establishment of a commercial waterway to Gaza.

Al-Akhbar reported that the UN sought to link improvements in Gaza to the approval of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, but his continued rejectionism prompted the UN, which seeks to restore Palestinian Authority governance in Gaza, to implement first steps without Abbas’ blessing.

Those initiatives include the import of fuel to Gaza’s sole power plant and the transfer of $25 million to Gaza to pay civil servants’ salaries and for electricity.

The PA has protested these measures by pressuring the Israeli company contracted to transfer fuel to Gaza for power generation into stopping delivery by threatening to end its contracts to supply Gaza with gasoline for transportation.

The UN is therefore seeking out Israeli companies immune to PA pressure for the job, a Hamas source told Al-Akhbar.

Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel is due to visit Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Amman next week to push a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, according to the newspaper.

The West Bank-based authority also sent a complaint to the UN secretary-general against Nickolay Mladenov, who has been leading the indirect talks, alleging that the UN envoy is undermining Palestinian national unity.

Palestinian dies in Israeli prison

Meanwhile on Friday, Wissam Abd al-Majid Nayif al-Shalaldeh, 28, from the occupied West Bank town of Sair, died in Ramla prison in central Israel.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society said that the cause of death was unknown.

Al-Shalaldeh, a married father of four, had been held by Israel since 2015 and was serving a seven-year prison sentence, the Ma’an News Agency reported. He is the fourth Palestinian to die in Israeli custody so far this year.

A photo of al-Shalaldeh circulated on social media after the announcement of his death:

A Palestinian woman, Ayesha Muhammad Rabi, 48, was reported to have died from head injuries after the car in which she was traveling was attacked by stone-throwing settlers near Zaatara checkpoint south of the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday.

A photo published in local media showed the seats of the car covered in blood and debris following the attack.

Photos of al-Rabi and her husband Yaqoub, who was also injured during the incident, were published after the announcement of her death:

The Israeli human rights group Yesh Din published video of Israelis from the settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus, throwing stones at cars on Friday as soldiers stand by without intervening. It was not clear if the video shows the incident in which which Rabi was killed.

Late Thursday, Israeli forces arrested a 19-year-old Palestinian suspected of stabbing and moderately wounding a soldier near the West Bank city of Nablus earlier in the day.

A woman bystander was lightly injured when Israeli forces opened fire.

A Palestinian suspected of shooting and killing two Israelis at his place of work in a West Bank settlement industrial zone on Sunday remains at large.

Referring to Ashraf Walid Suleiman Naawla, the suspected gunman, Israeli defense minister Lieberman said, “The account with him will be settled quickly.”

Israeli forces have arrested Naawla’s family members, including his mother, and mapped his family’s home in preparation for destroying it.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.