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Israel - Palestine: Funeral of Palestinian amputee killed by Israeli fire takes place in Gaza

Saturday 16 December 2017, by siawi3

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/16/funeral-of-palestinian-amputee-killed-by-israeli-fire-takes-place-in-gaza

Funeral of Palestinian amputee killed by Israeli fire takes place in Gaza

Wheelchair user Abu Thuraya was shot dead by troops during protests against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Abu Thuraya’s death came on the bloodiest day of protests since Donald Trump’s controversial announcement. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Peter Beaumont
in Jerusalem

Saturday 16 December 2017 12.29 GMT
Last modified on Saturday 16 December 2017 12.47 GMT

The funeral has taken place of a Palestinian wheelchair user who was shot dead on Friday during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The death of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29, came as Trump administration officialsagain pre-empted negotiations over the disputed city’s final status in comments about the Western Wall.

“We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel,” a senior official said. “But as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.”

The death of Abu Thuraya came on the bloodiest day of protests since Trump’s controversial announcement earlier this month, with no sign of the unrest dying down. Photographs showed the body of the former fisherman being carried on a stretcher through Gaza City during his funeral on Saturday.

Abu Thuraya, who lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2008, was one of four Palestinians to die in clashes with Israeli security forces on Friday in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Israeli military said it had fired “selectively towards main instigators” of the protest in which Abu Thuraya was reportedly hit, and that it was investigating the circumstances of his death.

Jerusalem – for Christians, Jews and Muslims – is both a city and an idea
Giles Fraser

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed in a statement that Abu Thuraya and Yasser Sokhar, 31, were shot in the head in Gaza during clashes with Israeli soldiers.

According to photographs and witness accounts, Abu Thuraya had been pushed to the fence in his wheelchair, before leaving the chair and attempting to crawl further forward.

Video footage from after he was shot showed him being pushed back, slumped in his chair surrounded by other shouting protesters.

Two days before his death he told a video interviewer that he had been protesting against the US decision. “This land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it has made,” he said.

The Israeli military said about 3,500 Palestinians had demonstrated near the Gaza border fence on Friday.

“During the violent riots IDF [Israel Defence Force] soldiers fired selectively towards main instigators,” it said in a statement.

A military spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the death of Abu Thuraya, who was a regular at such demonstrations.

In another deadly incident in Ramallah, a Palestinian wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli border police officer before being shot and killed.