Palestinian Teen Shot Dead While Foraging Wild Thistles for Cooking

Israeli Troops: 15-Year-Old Tampered With Settlement Fence

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 19, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said, in the latest killing to overshadow U.S.-brokered peace talks.

The family of Youssef Shawamra said he was killed after he went foraging for wild thistles used in local cooking. Hospital officials said he was 15, while one relative said he was 16.

A military spokeswoman said he was shot after he and two other youths were spotted tampering with a security fence near the village of Deir al-Asal al-Tahta. She said soldiers had called on them to stop and had fired warning shots in the air.

“After all means were exhausted, the soldiers shot toward the main suspect, at his lower body, and a hit was identified. An Israeli medical team took him to an Israeli hospital where he died of his wounds,” the spokeswoman said.

Angry locals contested the army version.

“He did not go out … to resist the occupation or anything like that. He went to look for a source of income,” said his cousin, Nafez Shawamra, accusing Israeli soldiers of killing him in cold blood.

The boy’s grandfather said Youssef had been with an elderly man planning to collect almonds beyond the wire security fence and two youths. They were all arrested, he added.

The separation barrier cuts through much of the West Bank. The Israelis say it is needed to prevent suicide attacks, while Palestinians say it has eaten up large parts of territory they want for a future state, dividing them from their land.

PEACE TALKS

Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have killed 57 Palestinians and injured almost 900 since the resumption of peace talks last July. They accuse Israel of deliberately stirring up tensions.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, denounced Shawamra’s death as an “extra-judicial killing”, saying it was part of a broader pattern of “flagrant violations” of international law.

“It has become evident that Israel has done everything possible to destroy the ongoing negotiations and to provoke violence and extremism throughout the region,” she said.

Last month, Amnesty International published a report which said Israeli forces had used excessive violence in the West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what might constitute a war crime.

Israel dismissed the report, saying the human rights group had revealed a “complete lack of understanding” of the difficulties soldiers faced in the West Bank.

In a separate development on Wednesday, Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approved plans for 184 new homes in two Jewish settlements on land seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

An Israeli government report this month said construction starts on new settler homes had more than doubled last year.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.