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Thousands attend funeral of slain Palestinian teen pronounced dead after 2-month long coma

Dec. 23, 2016 5:58 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 24, 2016 1:41 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Thousands of Palestinians Friday attended the funeral of 16-year-old Fares Ziad al-Bayed in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah after he died earlier in the day of wounds inflicted during clashes with Israeli soldiers in October.

Fares was critically injured after being shot in the head with a live bullet during clashes on Oct. 15 at al-Jalazun refugee camp in Ramallah, following a march commemorating the first anniversary of the killing of 13-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces last year during clashes.

The funeral for the slain 16-year-old set off from the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah where he had fallen into a two-month long coma, and headed to al-Bayed’s home for a final farewell. His body was then transported to al-Jalazun’s mosque for funeral prayers, before being buried in the camp’s cemetery.

In addition to Fares, some 20 other Palestinians suffered injuries during the clashes in October, with youth throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who responded with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas.

The march where Fares was shot was staged to commemorate the anniversary of the death of 13-year-old Ahmad, who was a resident of al-Jalazun refugee camp. He was shot in the neck with live fire during clashes in al-Bireh on Oct. 11, 2015, and succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

Ahmad was the 233rd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October last year, and Fares has become the 246th.

The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons by Palestinians on Israeli targets, however, at least 67 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during clashes, police and/or army raids since Oct. 1, 2015.

Just a day prior to Fares' death, Israeli forces shot and killed 19-year-old Ahmad Nashat Othman al-Kharroubi with live ammunition in the neck, during clashes in Kafr Aqab north of Jerusalem. He was pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past year for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians -- especially youth and children -- who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been disarmed through non-lethal means.

A report released by Palestinian NGO BADIL in August warned of an intensification of the “systematic targeting” of Palestinian youth and children in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of 2016, particularly in refugee camps in the West Bank.
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