Israeli Soldiers Attack Child's Funeral
- Israeli Soldiers Shoot Female Farmer in Gaza
Gaza/Tel Aviv - Israeli soldiers stationed on the southern border of
the Gaza Strip shot and injured a female Palestinian farmer early
Tuesday, while Palestinian militants overnight launched another
rocket into southern Israel, further threatening a wobbly truce.
Palestinian medical officials said the woman was shot in the lower
limbs when she entered her land near the southern Gaza Strip border
with Israel, east of Khan Younis.
The border area shooting is the third such incident reported by
Palestinians, who have said a Palestinian farmer in his 70s was also
shot in the lower limbs Wednesday last week in the same area, near
southern Gaza's border with Israel. A third Palestinian farmer was
shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers stationed on Gaza's north-
western border with Israel on Monday last week.
An Israeli military spokesman said the army was checking the report
of the wounded woman. Of the other two cases, he could only confirm
the shooting of Wednesday last week, but he insisted that the
soldiers had fired only warning shots after they spotted three
Palestinians approaching the border fence. The soldiers did not 'in
any way' aim at the elderly man's body and fired only into the air.
They identified no hit, he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Israel has via Egypt informed the radical Islamic Hamas movement
ruling Gaza that it will fire warning shots at any Palestinian
entered a 'no-go' security zone near Gaza's border fence, security
officials confirmed to dpa.
The officials said the decision came after militants had
launched 'not one, not two,' but numerous attacks on soldiers
guarding the border.
Many Palestinian farmers, however, have land adjacent to the border,
which they need to cultivate, and enter the area regardless of the
Hamas has expressed objection to the Israeli decision to declare the
area immediately west of Gaza's security fence a 'no-go' security
strip and the move was expected to create tension.
The Israeli Ha'aretz daily reported Tuesday that Israel wants to
keep the 'no-go' security zones along Gaza's border because it fears
that militants will use the truce to plant explosives on the
Palestinian side of the fence, which would give them an edge if the
ceasefire collapses or when it expires. In the past, militants have
planted bombs aimed at Israeli military vehicles patrolling the
According to Ha'aretz, Israel also fears that Hamas might build a
line of fortifications along the fence as a basis for further
attacks, as the Lebanese Hezbollah movement did between Israel's
unilateral withdrawal from a self-proclaimed 'security zone' in
southern Lebanon in May 2000 and the second Lebanon war in the
summer of 2006.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, meanwhile, ordered the military
to again shut Israel's key crossings with Gaza, allowing in no goods
until further notice, in retaliation for an overnight rocket attack
from the Strip.
The rocket launched late Monday caused neither injuries nor damage,
a military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said, and was the fifth launched
since the truce went into effect at 0300 GMT on June 19.
Israel responded also to the previous launchings by temporarily
shutting the Gaza crossing points. They had just been reopened
Sunday after some four days of complete closure.
No organization claimed responsibility for Monday night's rocket
attack, after Hamas had threatened to take steps against other
militant factions in Gaza violating the truce.
The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad movement had claimed credit for all
but one of the previous rockets fired since the truce.
It has said it wants Israel to expand the ceasefire to the West Bank
and fired the rockets after Israeli soldiers killed a senior Islamic
Jihad militant and his companion during an arrest raid in the
northern West Bank city of Nablus last week.
The ceasefire in Gaza, brokered by Egypt, took effect after months
of difficult indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and of
near-daily rocket attacks from the Strip and Israeli retaliatory
Israeli Soldiers Attack Child's Funeral
For a video of the funeral see
[from Friends of Freedom and Justice www.bilin-ffj.org
I recommend reading Kim's report below before watching the brief
The 2nd boy from Ni'lin (a teen ager) shot in the head is brain
dead, but is still in the hospital apparently on life-sustaining
The Murder of Ahmed, Age 10
By Kim Bullimore The West Bank
Ahmad. (Photo: Kim Bullmore)
Another child has just been murdered.
On Tuesday, July 29, Ahmed Ussam Yusef Mousa, aged 10, was shot dead
with a single shot to the head by Israeli occupation forces. Ahmed
was murdered, just before 6pm, when he and a group of youth from
Ni'lin village attempted to dismantle a section of barbwire fencing
erected on the village's land by the Israeli occupation forces.
Ahmed is now the twelfth person and seventh child to be killed by
the Israeli occupation forces in demonstrations against the
apartheid fence . He is one of more than 840 Palestinian
children killed by the Israeli Zionist state since the beginning of
the Al Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 .
My IWPS team mate and myself received the news of Ahmed's death
last night as we arrived in Ramallah. Within fifteen minutes we were
at the hospital. As we arrived Ahmed's little body was being
brought into the hospital. My teammate and myself were "lucky" in
that we did not see Ahmed but two of our friends and activists from
the ISM, who were at the hospital, did. Both experienced activists,
they spoke quietly and with disbelief of how tiny Ahmed was.
The initial shock, grief and tears we all felt were held at bay over
the next few hours as we worked in the ISM's media office, ringing
media persons, outlets, pulling together media releases. As we
emailed out the press releases to the media and our various networks
around the world, the emails poured in expressing shock, outrage and
As the night wore on we sat with each other, listened and supported
each other, especially with those of use who had close ties with the
villagers of Ni'lin and who had witnessed the arrival of Ahmed's
body at the hospital. None of us could sleep, although we were all
exhausted and we sat in the garden as the early hours of the
mourning came upon us. Finally at around 3am, we forced ourselves
to go to bed, but we all spent a sleepless night thinking about the
grief the family must be experiencing - their shock, horror and
disbelief - that their little boy was no longer with them.
In the morning, other members of the ISM and IWPS began to arrive in
Ramallah, so we could all go to the hospital at 10am to be part of
Ahmed's funeral procession and to accompany his family home with his
body. At 10.30am, Ahmed's family arrived, accompanied by many of the
villagers from Ni'lin who came to pay their respects. Soon Ahmed's
body was brought out and placed in the ambulance. As the ambulance
drove out of the hospital car park, we took our place in the funeral
procession made up of dozens of cars filled with villagers and
others had come to pay their respects. Over the next 45 minutes, as
we made our way through the streets of centre of Ramallah, we were
joined by more cars, trucks and taxis. Many of the cars displayed
Ahmed's shihad or martyr poster (in Palestine the word martyr refers
to anyone killed as a result of the Israeli occupation, not just
militants who participate in suicide bombings or who are part of the
armed resistance in the camps. Martyrs can be children and/or
adults, who have died at the hands of the Israeli military). Ahmed's
poster displayed a handsome little boy, who was small and slight of
build. Each time I looked at the poster, I wondered how anyone one
could think that this tiny child could be such a threat to the
security of their state? What could posses any person to think that
the appropriate response to a small child was to fire live
ammunition, deliberately shooting to kill?
As I looked at his photograph trying to image why Ahmed had to die,
his funeral procession began to make its way out of Ramallah. As we
left the city and began to traverse the hills and pass through the
surrounding Palestinian villages, we sat in silence, very little to
say to each other. As the procession drove on the chants from the
Palestinian mourners continued, remembering Ahmed, God and opposing
the occupation and the apartheid wall.
As we weaved our way through one village after another, more cars
joined us and villagers came to stand on the streets to offer their
silent condolences and respect for Ahmed and his family. Along with
adults, young children also lined the streets of the villages we
passed through. My heart broke as I watch their little faces, many
of them too young to comprehend what the procession was about. But
as I watched these small children through the windows of our car, I
kept wondering if one day they too would share the same fate as
Ahmed. And the sadness and anger in me grew once again.
As we approached Bil'in village, a young father stood on the side of
the road, along with a group of young children, many no doubt his
own. They stood silent, bravely, in dignity with Palestinian flags
held high in remembrance of Ahmed. Suddenly, all the composure and
restraint I had imposed on myself since we first heard the news of
Ahmed's death left me and tears began to stream down my face.
When we reached Bil'in, many of the village residents who had been
active in the struggle to save the lands of their village were
waiting for the funeral procession. As the procession wound through
the village, many of them joined us, as we began to make the last
leg of the journey to Ni'lin.
As we neared the settler highway that we must traverse to get to
Ni'lin, we began to anxiously scan the hills and fields for the
Israeli occupation forces who would be waiting for the funeral
procession. As rounded the last bend before the highway, we caught
our first glimpse of them and wondered would they try and stop the
funeral procession? Would the use violence us? Would they attack the
funeral procession, as the Israeli military had done on so many
As we reached the highway, we could see the Israeli occupation
forces had blocked the road and stopped Israeli plated cars from
continuing towards the village's entrance. This sight was a relief.
Perhaps, we thought, they will let the funeral procession proceed
unhindered. However, as we got closer to the entrance of the village
and we and the rest of the Palestinians mourners and other
internationals poured out of the vehicles on to the highway, we
could see the Israeli occupation forces had set up another barricade
near the village entrance. While the barricade did not prevent entry
to the village, it was a clear sign that the military want to make
their presence known. By placing the barrier directly opposite the
entrance, rather then setting it up 50 or 100 or 200 metres or more
away as they could have easily have done, the Israeli military
seemed intent on provoking a confrontation with the mourners.
As Ahmed's tiny body, wrapped in his funeral shroud, was carried
above the crowd, the mourners chanted his martyrdom, against the
occupation and the wall and for the greatness of God. Soon, smaller
groups broke off from the procession to confront the soldiers,
yelling at them angrily, as the emotions, anger and grief
surrounding Ahmed's death spilled over. In response the Israeli
occupation forces began to throw sound grenades and flash bombs. As
myself and one of my IWPS teammates moved closer to the front line
to try and offer some sort of international presence, teargas began
to be fired by the Israeli military. For the next few minutes, we
were caught between the military firing on us and the young
Palestinian men throwing stones in response to the occupation forces
attack on the funeral procession.
As people began to run, we were swept up in the chaos and at one
point people tried to crush past a park car, resulting in several
young boys being dragged down and trampled. Suddenly, I saw a man
dragging the limp body of a young teenage boy and at first my heart
went to my mouth, as I thought another child had been shot. As the
young boy was dragged to safety, he began to gain consciousness and
my relief was palpable.
Tears streaming down my eyes from the teargas, I tried to locate my
teammate and the internationals amongst the mourners who began to
regroup. Soon, the funeral procession began to make its way once
again, with Ahmed's tiny body, towards the mosque. As Ahmed was
carried up the stairs into the mosque, prayers were called and we
waited in quite vigil for Ahmed and his family.
When the prayers finished, Ahmed was brought from the mosque and
taken once again by funeral procession to the village burial ground.
We walked quietly, as again the chants from the villagers and others
Palestinians spoke of Ahmed's martyrdom, God and the occupation.
As we approached the burial grounds, women stood atop the house near
where little Ahmed would be buried. As the funeral procession passed
by they ululated, performing the zachrohtah, the traditional sound
made to wish someone well. In performing this tradition, the women
sought to ensure Ahmed's journey to paradise would be happy and
As the men accompanied Ahmed's body for burial, we decided to remain
outside. As we waited quietly, two young girls, both under the age
of ten, shyly came to say hello. As we conversed, they asked me my
name, where I lived and other innocent questions. As I responded, in
my badly pronounced Arabic, they also began to ask if I liked Noor,
the widely popular Turkish soap opera (which is dubbed in Arabic)
that is showing at the moment on Palestinian television. I asked
them if they liked Mohanad, the male lead, who all the Palestinian
girls and young women have fallen in love with and they told me yes.
As I practiced my Arabic with them and spoke of the things little
girls find interesting and joyful, I thought again of Ahmed who will
never have the chance to play games with his friends or his family
and of how he would never be able to speak of the television shows
he loved. And again the sadness swept over me for Ahmed and for his
family, who would miss him so much.
*17 year old, Yousef Ahmad Younis Amera was shot in the head, twice,
with rubber coated steel bullets at close range by the Israeli
military, in Ni'lin village several hours after Ahmed was buried.
Yousef was declared brain dead several hours after he was shot by
the Israeli occupation forces.
- Kim Bullimore is currently living the Occupied West Bank, where
she is a human rights volunteer with the International Women's Peace
Service (www.iwps.info). She has a blog
www.livefromoccupiedpalestine.blogspot.com and is a regular writer
on Palestine-Israel issues. She contributed this article to
International Solidarity Movement (29 July, 2008) Ten year old
shot In Ni'lin http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2008/07/29/10-year-
 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Statistics relation to the
Al Aqsa Intifada http://www.pchrgaza.org/alaqsaintifada.html
If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to
the Palestine Chronicle.
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