Saturday, October 31, 2020

15 year old boy shot and killed by Israeli forces using live ammunition

By Calum Toogood - December 09, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Al-Jalazun]

Some of Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi's best friends in front of his house after his funeral. Photo by Lazar Simeonov
15-year-old Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi was shot in the back by Israeli forces early in the evening on Saturday 6 December. The boy, a resident of the Al-Jalazun refugee camp, died later that evening at a Ramallah hospital.
Although Al-Jalazun is a site of frequent clashes and incidents of rock-throwing due to its proximity to the nearby Israeli settlement of Beit El, eyewitnesses from the camp claim there was no violence or clashes in the area at the time of the shooting.
Residents told the Palestine Monitor that Wajih was shot in the back while in front of his school by an Israeli army sniper in a nearby watchtower.  
The boy’s father stated his son had been playing at the basketball court outside the local school at the time of the incident. Wajih left to go get a drink and was then shot by a sniper from a range of around 500 metres.
Immediately after the incident he was rushed to the Medical Complex in Ramallah where he later died in the ICU unit.
According to Israeli News Agency Walla, an unnamed IDF source released a statement which indicated that a unit from the Givati Brigade was operating in the camp at the time of Wajih’s shooting. The IDF source claims that a violent incident broke out while they were trying to arrest a suspect in the camp, warning shots were fired in the air and for some reason the boy was shot. 
The Israeli military say it has now opened an investigation into the incident.
Contradictory to eyewitness statements, a report conducted by Palestinain Centre for Human Rights claims that there were clashes by the school at the time of the shooting.
Following Wajih’s death, a group of youths from Al-Jalazun gathered in Ramallah’s city center to protest the killing. All shops in the downtown area closed for the rest of the evening out of respect. 

Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi's father in shock after the funeral of his son. Photo by Lazar Simeonov 
At the request of the father, an autopsy was carried out on the body the following morning at a hospital in Jerusalem.  The body was later returned to Al-Jalazun for the funeral ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral, during which the body of Wajih was processed through the camp from the mosque to the grave yard where he was buried.
Guns were fired off in the surrounding area of the graveyard in commemoration of Wajih.
Following the burial, residents of the camp gathered in the mosque for a ceremony where they gave their condolences to the boy’s family.
Wajih’s father said in a statement to the Palestine Monitor that he is looking to sue the Israeli military for assassinating his son.  He went on to say that this is not an isolated incident; there are many children within the camp who have been targeted by the Israeli military.
The use of live fire by Israeli armed forces against youths in the West Bank, however, is not an uncommon incident.  The day prior to the killing of Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, two teenagers were shot in Bethlehem. Both youths were reported to have been shot with live ammunition.
The two teenagers were shot on Friday afternoon during clashes near the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Youths from Aida camp were said to have been throwing rocks towards the Israeli military watchtowers adjacent to the camp when the Israeli soldiers began firing at them.
According to a report on +972, there was no tear gas or rubber bullets used to quell the protesters.  The first response of the Israeli soldiers was to use live ammunition.
“All of these things happened in a time when there was no danger to any of the soldiers.  The live ammunition was used from a watchtower; there were no soldiers on the ground,” Mohammad Al Azraq, a coordinator at the Lajee centre, told the Palestine Monitor.
“This means they are all behind the wall and there is no danger for the soldiers.  There is no excuse for them to use live bullets.  But they still use the live ammunition.”
The live ammunition used is said to have been .22 bullets shot through a silenced rifle known as the Ruger, a lethal form of crowd dispersal formerly banned under Israeli law.

The funeral of Wajih Wajdi Al-Rahamani in Al-Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah. Photo by Lazar Simeonov


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