An 11-year-old Palestinian child was killed by Israeli occupation forces as he rode in his father’s car on Wednesday.
Israeli forces then fatally shot another Palestinian youth during the child’s funeral in the village of Beit Ummar on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers also killed the water engineer for the West Bank village of Beita.
The child, Muhammad Muayyad Abu Sara, was running errands with his family near the entrance of Beit Ummar near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
The boy’s father, Muayyad Abu Sara, was in the car with Muhammad and his other children, Anan, 9, and Ahmad, 5, he told media.
Six Israeli soldiers reportedly ordered him to stop and opened fire while the car was around 50 meters away.
The soldiers fired at least 13 bullets at the vehicle, witnesses told Defense for Children International Palestine.
A bullet struck the boy in the chest. He was taken to hospital for surgery, but died hours later.
The father told media that as they were driving, Muhammad reminded him that they had forgotten to go to the grocery store.
The father said he turned the car around and felt bullets “raining” on them. He told his children to lower their heads.
His 5-year-old son was able to hide under the seat, but he said he found the 11-year-old unconscious on his sister’s lap.
The father said all four could have been killed in that car.
Pictures of the vehicle’s interior following the shooting show groceries splattered with blood.“I didn’t have him until six or seven years after I got married. They took him from me, they kidnapped him from my heart,” Muhammad’s father said.
“I also died, not just Muhammad.”
Palestinians placed a blood-splattered bag of bread on the boy’s body during his funeral on Thursday – a symbol of the ordinariness of the errand his family was on when Israeli soldiers turned it into a scene of horror.
The village municipality announced a general strike on Thursday to mourn the boy’s killing.Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at Palestinians protesting the boy’s killing in Beit Ummar on Thursday, killing one and injuring at least 12.
Shawkat Khalid Awad, 20, was shot in the head and abdomen and died from his wounds on Thursday, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Local media circulated pictures showing him at Abu Sara’s funeral:Disturbing video shows mourners running with the body of the 11-year-old Muhammad Abu Sara during the funeral, trying to evade attacks by Israeli forces. Muhammad Abu Sara is 11th child to be killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank this year, according to Defense for Children International Palestine.
“Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings,” the human rights group said.
In an attempt to explain the killing, the Israeli army said soldiers saw people digging in a graveyard near the town, and watched them until they left in their car.
The soldiers then went to the graveyard, where the army say they found a bag containing the body of a newborn baby.
Afterwards, according to the army, the soldiers observed a vehicle nearby and assumed it was the same people they claim to have seen in the graveyard.
The soldiers then supposedly initiated an “arrest procedure,” which involved shooting at the car’s wheels and firing warning shots in the air.
This does not explain how the car was riddled with bullets – an indication either that the soldiers intended to fire directly at the car, or are dangerously incompetent with their weapons.
It is also unclear why the soldiers considered people digging in a graveyard to be so suspicious that it needed to arrest or shoot at them.
The army said it would investigate the “claim that a Palestinian child was killed as a result of the shooting” and findings would be submitted to the military prosecutor.
Israel’s military self-investigations routinely whitewash crimes against Palestinians and almost never result in accountability.
The newborn’s father and Beit Ummar’s mayor, however, give a different account of what happened.
Mayor Nasri Sabarneh told the Wafa News Agency that it was Israeli soldiers who dug out the grave.
“The Israeli occupation army exhumed the grave of the newborn girl after she was buried by her parents in the town’s children’s cemetery,” Sabarneh said.
Ali Anwar Zaaqiq, the father of the baby who was named Leen, told Wafa that after burying his daughter, the mayor rang him to tell him what the Israeli soldiers had done.
Zaaqiq said he returned to the cemetery to find “occupation soldiers and Israeli doctors standing near the grave after they had taken Leen out, removed her shroud and left her beside the grave.”
Water engineer killed
Meanwhile, a Palestinian man was fatally shot by Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday.
Shadi Omar Lutfi Salim, 41, was a water engineer in the village of Beita near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Beita’s deputy mayor Musa Hamayel told media that Salim was on his way home from work when he was killed.Salim was the water engineer for the village. “He was killed in cold blood,” Hamayel said, asserting that there had been no protests in the area that night.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Israeli army claimed Salim “had quickly advanced towards soldiers with an object in his hand that was later identified as an iron bar.”
“Witnesses say they saw Salim walking from his car with a wrench toward the main faucet on the night of the incident, and heard gunfire soon after,” the newspaper added.
In recent months, Palestinians have been resisting a new Israeli colonial outpost built on land belonging to the Nablus-area villages of Qabalan, Yatma and Beita. The outpost has been previously evacuated, but settlers have returned to it.
Raiding human rights group
Israeli occupation forces raided the offices of Defense for Children International Palestine in al-Bireh on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah early Thursday morning.
The military confiscated computers and files related to Palestinian child detainees whose cases DCIP works on.
Security camera footage shows at least a dozen Israeli soldiers in the offices of the human rights group.
DCIP’s field investigations and in-depth reporting are essential to document Israeli crimes against Palestinian children, including injuries, killings and detentions.Israeli forces also raided the Bisan Center for Research and Development in Ramallah early on Thursday, vandalizing offices and shattering doors. Israeli forces confiscated computers and rifled through files, Palestinian researcher Ubai al-Aboudi, who heads Bisan, told a local media organization.
Al-Aboudi has been previously detained by Israel.
“This direct targeting of an academic and research institute by occupation forces is a dangerous breach of academic freedoms,” Bisan center stated.
Ali Abunimah contributed reporting.