Israeli forces kill 20 year old Palestinian during clashes in Silwan

Published October 12th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan is already a place of heightened tension. (AFP/File)
The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan is already a place of heightened tension. (AFP/File)

A 20-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces Tuesday night during clashes that erupted in the town of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem just south of the Old City, amid ongoing violent police raids in the Jerusalem area.

Ali Atef Shyoukhi was shot and critically injured with live fire during clashes at around 11 p.m., with Israeli forces also firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters at Palestinian youth who responded with fireworks and Molotov cocktails, reportedly causing a military jeep to catch on fire.

The 20-year-old man succumbed to his wounds after minutes, as Israeli police closed off the area to traffic and pedestrians, denying the access of ambulances to arrive to the scene to treat him.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma'an that their ambulance crews were repeatedly searched and harassed by Israeli forces as they were prevented from accessing Shyoukhi, and were thus unable to confirm the details of his fatal injuries.

However, according to the local organization the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Shyoukhi was shot in the stomach, while state-run news agency Wafa reported that he was shot in the chest.

Meanwhile, another Palestinian youth was shot and injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet to the eye while dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

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 who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been detained through non-lethal means.

Amid the clashes, Israeli forces had also raided several homes in Silwan belonging to the al-Abbasi family, assaulting 60-year-old Khalil al-Abbasi, his son Abed, while smashing the door of a house belonging to Ahmad al-Abbasi as they broke inside to search it.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday night's events.
According to the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, Shyoukhi was a former prisoner and was released in early 2016 after spending 15 months in Israeli custody.

Just two hours after his death, he was laid to rest at the Turbet al-Sawahira cemetery in Jerusalem.
Shyoukhi's family hastened to hold his burial shortly after midnight, in fear that his body would be detained by the Israeli authorities, as Israel has imposed a policy of withholding the bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces since a wave of unrest swept across the Palestinian territory and Israel a year ago, that has seen 233 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers.

The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons by Palestinians on Israeli targets, however, at least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during clashes, police and/or army raids since Oct. 1, 2015.
Clashes in Silwan came hours after four Palestinian youth were injured with live fire during the third consecutive day of clashes in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem in the aftermath of a deadly shooting attack on Sunday.

Both Silwan and al-Ram have been the focus of ongoing detention campaigns and heavy security restrictions in the wake of the attack, as the slain shooter Misbah Abu Sbeih was from Silwan, but was recently forced to relocated to al-Ram after Israeli authorities banned him from entering the Jerusalem municipality.

As a result of the violent nature of the raids, locals have protested outside of the targeted homes, leading to clashes with Israeli forces.
After already being raided Sunday and Monday, at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, Israeli forces again raided properties in al-Ram belonging to the Abu Sbeih family, rounding up all family members in one room at gunpoint and preventing them from talking or moving.

Soldiers then searched every room, "damaging the family's belongings," while other soldiers took photos and measurements of the apartments, seemingly in preparation for an impending punitive demolition of their homes.
A number of Abu Sbeih's family members have been summoned for interrogation and detained, including his 17-year-old daughter.The family also said that Israeli soldiers threatened to revoke their Jerusalem IDs.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have imposed extra security measures across the occupied territory and in East Jerusalem in particular amid the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

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