HEBRON (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Friday at the funeral for his cousin in the town of Beit Ummar near Hebron.
Ziyad Awad, 27, was killed by Israeli forces and thirteen others injured when soldiers opened fire on mourners at the funeral of Jaafar Awad, 22, who died at 2:45 a.m. Friday morning from health complications that rapidly deteriorated while being held in Israeli prison.
Medical sources told Ma’an that Jaafar had succumbed to the illness at the al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron.
Three Palestinians were injured with live fire while 10 others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets. Dozens of other funeral attendees suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation.
Awad’s funeral was held after Friday prayers, and was followed by tense clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces. Soldiers are permanently stationed at a checkpoint to the town, which is located near the main Bethlehem-Hebron road.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an that a “violent riot” had broken out in Beit Ummar in which locals “hurled rocks and molotov cocktails” and “rolled burning tires” at Israeli soldiers.
“Feeling an immediate threat, soldiers used riot dispersal means” against the crowd, but “the rioters refused to halt.”
As a result, soldiers “fired at instigators at their lower extremities with .22 caliber bullets.” She said that four “hits” were confirmed.
Beit Ummar has been severely targeted by Israeli forces as a result of its location, and as of late March, more than 60 Palestinians had been detained in Beit Ummar by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2015, nearly half of whom were minors.
Jaafar Awad spent 14 months in Israel’s Eshel Prison in Beersheba, but was released on Jan. 21, 2015 in critical condition after he fell ill in custody.
Palestine News Network quoted Prisoner Committee head Issa Qaraqe as saying that Awad’s health complications started when he was administered incorrect insulin shots in Eshel Prison, causing him neck inflation, inability to speak, pain in the head, trembling in the body and an impaired vision.
Awad suffered from severe pneumonia, heart problems, and thyroid and pancreas complications by the time he was released. Israeli authorities had agreed to release Awad only after the director of the Prisoners’ Society’s legal department submitted an appeal. He was released with a fine of 40,000 shekels ($10,200).