UN, EU denounce IDF shooting dead of Palestinian teen during protest

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A Palestinian teen, was killed on Friday while attending a protest in the village of Al-Mughayyir near Ramallah.

Mourners take part in the funeral of Palestinian teenager Ali Abu Alia in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah in the West Bank, December 5, 2020. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Mourners take part in the funeral of Palestinian teenager Ali Abu Alia in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah in the West Bank, December 5, 2020.

(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

United Nations and European Union officials have condemned the IDF over a shooting incident that led to the death of a 14-year-old Palestinian during a violent protest near al-Mughayyir village in the West Bank on Friday.

“Children enjoy special protection under international law and must be protected from violence,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted. He added that the incident was “shocking and unacceptable.”

The EU delegation to the Palestinians asked, “How many more  Palestinian children will be subject to the excessive use of lethal force by the Israeli security forces?”

Both the EU delegation and Mladenov called for an independent investigation by the Israeli authorities into Ali Ayman Abu-Alayya’s death.

The IDF is investigating the incident, which it said occurred when dozens of Palestinians threw stones and rolled burning tires along the Alon Road, close to al-Mughayyir village in the Binyamin region.

An IDF spokesman said the objects thrown were more like large slabs than stones, and posed a clear danger to passing vehicles on the road, which is used by Palestinians and Israelis.

Al-Mughayyir Mayor Amin Abu Alayya said that “Israeli troops stationed at the eastern entrance to the village targeted a number of teenagers with live ammunition and metal-coated bullets during clashes.

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“The 14-year-old boy and four others were injured and the boy, who was hit in the stomach, was rushed to the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah, where he died of his wounds. Eyewitnesses said the boy was shot from close range. There have been daily clashes between teenagers and the soldiers in the past few weeks.”

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Abu-Alayya was hit by a live bullet in his abdomen and was taken for treatment at a hospital in the Palestinian city of Ramallah where he later died.

A resident of the village, who asked not to be identified by name, said: “The incident began when residents protested against settlement construction and land confiscation. Some of the boys threw rocks at the soldiers, who responded by firing live ammunition. Ali was hit in the stomach. In the beginning, we thought it was a light injury but the ambulance team that examined him saw it was serious and decided to take him to hospital.”

The IDF has rejected a charge that “live ammunition” was used, explaining that soldiers and border police at the scene responded with riot dispersal means that includes the use of less lethal “Ruger” bullets.

“The reports of live-fire use during the riot are not true, and claims about a number of rioters injured and one killed are known,” an IDF spokeswoman said.

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The teen was buried in al-Mughayyir on Saturday after his body was paraded through the streets on a gurney. Media reported that there were clashes with troops during the funeral. The IDF said it had no knowledge of such an incident.

The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry said it would turn to the International Criminal Court to ask it to investigate Abu-Alayya’s death, said Palestinian news agency, WAFA.

“This ugly crime is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to WAFA, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called the family on Saturday to offer his condolences on the “heinous crime, which is part of the crimes of the occupation against our defenseless people in order to terrorize them.”

MK Ayman Odeh (Joint List) also shared Abu-Alayya’s picture, writing: “A child was killed yet again by IDF fire – Ali Abu Alayya… who went out to protest next to his home in the village of al-Mughayyir… Another murder victim in a long line of cruel crimes committed in the occupied territories. Stop the occupation,” Odeh tweeted.

Democratic US Congresswoman from Michigan Rashida Tlaib. tweeted, “No child deserves to die like this.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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