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Funeral held for Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces following stab attack

April 22, 2017 3:24 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2017 7:39 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A funeral was held in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Saturday for 17-year-old Ahmad Ghazal, who was killed by Israeli forces after carrying out a stabbing attack earlier this month, which lightly injured three Israelis.

Israeli authorities had returned Ghazal’s body to his family on Friday evening.

Mourners marched from Rafidiya hospital to the Martyrs’ Square in the center of Nablus city while carrying Ghazal’s body. His body was then carried to the city’s western cemetery where he was laid to rest.
"We are ready to sacrifice our souls and our blood for martyrs," the mourners shouted.

Participants waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans denouncing the Israeli occupation and the "atrocities Israeli forces have committed against the Palestinian people."

“We know nothing about his death except the Israeli narrative. We didn't see the stabbing attack, and even if that version was true, they should have detained my son who was only 17-years-old," Ghazal's father Ahmad Fathi Ghazal said during the funeral.

His mother said she was proud of her son "who died a martyr."

Member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) Majida al-Masri, who attended the funeral, speculated that Ghazal was killed because the teen "made a choice to reject the Israeli occupation, which was an affront to Ghazal’s dignity, and continues to violate the dignity of all Palestinians."

"Ghazal expressed his anger and resistance to occupation in his own way, and was killed in cold blood," al-Masri said.

Ghazal was shot and killed by Israeli forces earlier this month after he carried out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem that left three Israelis lightly injured.

An eyewitness told Ma’an at the time that he saw the the boy stab “two settlers” on al-Wad street in the Old City and escape into the nearby building, before Israeli forces ambushed Ghazal in a small apartment, which had no alternate exits. “Then we heard sounds of intensive shooting coming from the building," he said.

"They could have detained him -- he was surrounded by a large number of soldiers. But they executed him," the witness said.

In a recording shared on social media by local watchdog the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, another eyewitness and shop owner on al-Wad street also said that Israeli police “could have detained him (Ghazal), but they didn't want to.”

“They ambushed him in the staircase. They could have detained him without any problem, but they wanted to kill him instead. We heard four soldiers riddling him with bullets. It was like a battlefield.”

Ghazal is one of 19 Palestinians who have been killed since the start of this year.

Activists and rights groups have long denounced what they have termed a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner -- amid a backdrop of impunity for Israelis who committed the killings.
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