Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces following a funeral procession held Saturday, March 18, for 16-year-old Murad Yusif Abu Ghazi in the al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral which was held a day after the boy was shot dead by the Israeli military.
Sources from the Red Crescent ambulance service told the Ma’an Palestinian news agency that eight young men were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes with Israeli troops that erupted after the funeral. All eight received treatment on the scene, and dozens of others — including women, children, and elderly people — were treated for severe tear gas inhalation.
Abu Ghazi succumbed to a critical gunshot wound in his chest Friday night around 9:30 pm, while 17-year-old Saif Salim Rushdi, also a resident of al-Arrub, underwent surgery for a bullet wound in the chest. Doctors told Ma’an on Saturday that Rushdi remains in critical condition with a severely damaged left lung and fractures in his rib cage. Abu Ghazi was the 13th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2017. His death also marked the second time this year that Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian minor. The Israeli army claimed that, along with 17-year-old Qusay Hassan al-Umour, whom they detained, Abu Ghazi and Rushdi had been throwing Molotov cocktails at troops — a claim that is contradicted by video evidence as well as by investigations undertaken by rights groups.