Thousands mourn child shot dead by Israeli sniper in al-Jalazun
Ma'an News Agency 09/12/2013
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Thousands of mourners turned out on Sunday for the burial of Wajih Wajdi al-Ramahi, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot dead by Israeli forces near al-Jalazun refugee camp while he was walking home from school on Saturday. Al-Ramahi was shot with live bullets in the back by an Israeli sniper from a watchtower in the nearby settlement of Bet El. Following an autopsy on his body at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Al-Quds University in nearby Abu Dis, his corpse arrived in al-Jalazun refugee camp, where al-Ramahi lived before his life was cut short.
At the refugee camp, his body was met by thousands of mourners. The young boy's body was carried on shoulders to his family home, where his family members said their last goodbyes. His mother, sisters and other relatives wept as his body passed by the door to his home as his body was moved to the refugee camp's mosque for funeral prayers. His body was finally laid to rest in the camp's cemetery, with a gunfire salute into the air as his body was lowered into the ground.
Al-Ramahi's father said that his eldest son had been playing soccer with his friends before heading to the store to buy soft drinks on Saturday. While walking in front of his school, a single bullet pierced his back. His father described the killing as an "assassination" and "cold-blooded murder."
Although Israeli army spokespeople originally denied knowledge of the boy's slaying, they have since acknowledged responsibility according to Israeli media sources, but have not given a reason for the shooting. An army spokeswoman told Ma'an that an "investigation" had been launched into the incident.
Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti said that negotiations by the Palestinians with the State of Israel are being used as "a cover for settlement expansion and in order to carry out crimes and murder against the Palestinian people." He called for an "end to negotiations and for the International Criminal Court to try Israel and its leaders for war crimes committed against the Palestinian people, including the murder of the al-Ramahi child."