Thursday 22 March 2018

Boy (15) shot dead in occupied West Bank

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Robert Tait Jalazoun

A boy of 15 has died after being shot in the back during clashes between Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank.

The boy apparently shot as he ran away from soldiers was the victim of a "cold-blooded assassination" that damages the already faltering process, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leader said.

Wajih Wajdi al-Ramahi was shot outside Jalazoun refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, eye-witnesses said.

The Israeli Defence Forces said it was conducting an investigation.

Mr Abbas put the blame squarely on Israel.

"This was a cold-blooded assassination perpetrated by the occupation regime," he said.

"The government of Israel bears responsibility for this organised terror against innocent children . . . This policy is destructive for the peace process."

There were conflicting accounts of the death at a mourning ceremony inside the camp. The dead boy's father, also called Wajih, who works in the PA prime minister's office, said his son had been shot "like a bird" by an Israeli sniper outside a supermarket, where he had gone to buy Coca-Cola.

That was contradicted by several youths who said they had been present at the shooting. They claimed Wajih was among a group of 17 youths playing football in the yard of a nearby school, run by the UN Relief and Works Agency.

The youths claimed they had left the school en masse to retrieve the ball after it was kicked outside the yard towards an army watchtower, which guards the nearby Jewish settlement of Beit El. They came under fire from one of a group of soldiers stationed below the tower who began shooting unprovoked, they said.

Mohammed Ramahi (15) the dead boy's cousin, acknowledged that Wajih "sometimes" threw stones at the army. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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