PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES - A 20-year old Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli army soldiers on Thursday as he attended the funeral of a 12-year old boy who had been similarly killed by Israeli troops a day earlier.
The funeral took place in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar.
Shawkat Khalil Awad, 20, was shot in the head and stomach by live bullets by troops during clashes at the funeral of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Alaama near Hebron. Awad was taken to hospital in critical condition where he died of his wounds.
According to the Israeli army, during the funeral, hundreds of Palestinian protesters threw rocks towards Israeli soldiers and border police officers who responded with riot dispersal means including stun grenades and rubber bullets. They also fired live bullets in the air, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Israeli military said that it was investigating the incident. It is unclear why the soldiers were at the funeral.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said twelve people, including Awad, had been wounded by live gunfire, and several others sustained injuries from rubber bullets and tear gas, the 'Post report said.
Awad was the fourth Palestinian killed by the Israeli military, and the third to be killed in Beit Ummar, in the past week.
20-year old Shawkat Khalil Awad's funeral was held on Friday. Photo credit: Hisham Abu Shaqrah
On Wednesday, 12-year old Mohammed al-Alaama was in his father's car with two siblings after they had been to a shop to buy groceries. Israeli soldiers said they thought the car was suspicious.
"The soldiers initiated the suspect arrest procedure, which included calls in their direction and shooting in the air. When the vehicle did not stop, one of the soldiers fired at the wheels of the vehicle in order to stop it," An Israeli army statement said.
According to Alaama's father, Muayyad who spoke to Israeli media, he had gone to a local store with his three children to buy groceries. He made a U-turn to stop at the shop when the troops opened fire on the vehicle with 13 bullets, hitting Mohammed.
Though the Israeli army said troops fired only towards the wheels of the car, there were several bullet holes found in the back and side of the car, The Jerusalem Post report said.
The Israeli army said an investigation has been launched into the shooting, including by senior officers and military police.