Palestinian teen shot dead

Family: He was nearby when a settler fired at stone-throwing youths.

May 14, 2010 17:18
2 minute read.
Palestinians wave Palestinian flags during a Nakba

Palestinian Nakba rally. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Palestinians alleged Friday that a settler shot to death a 16-year old Palestinian who was working in his family's olive grove near Ramallah on Thursday afternoon during a nearby stoning incident on Route 60.

The teen Aysar Yasser alZaben was buried Friday in a funeral that attracted thousands.

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Judea and Samaria Police have launched an investigation into his death.

On Friday they dispatched forensics officers to the scene after receiving reports of the alleged shooting. But it was too soon to know what took place, a police spokesman cautioned, and police were still attempting to verify the circumstances of the teenager's death.

"We are examining the findings from the scene now," the spokesman said on Friday.

Spokesman Gili Elhadad said police received reports of stone-throwing and gunshots in the area on Thursday and were looking into both.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak said that on Thursday afternoon a few Palestinian teens from the village of Mazra'a alSharqia were throwing stones in the direction of Route 60.

At some point, an Israeli man who appeared to be a settler stopped his car and opened fire in their direction.

The teens fled to the village; but since alZaben was not part of their group, they were not concerned about him, said Pollak.

The teen's family became concerned when alZaben did not return home, Pollack said. They family began to search for him and even contacted the IDF, the border police and the Civil Administration out of fear that he may have been detained for some reason.

As part of their search they went to the olive grove where he had been working and found him face down on the ground with a bullet hole in his back, said Pollak.

Palestinian ambulance driver Talal Eideh also said the teen had been shot in the back.

Samer Shalabi, a village resident and journalist, said it was possible that more than one settler had fired on the teens.

He added that tensions were high in the village because of a march by settlers nearby the day before.

The Binyamin Citizen's Committee said in response that in the past few days there had been a number of incidents in which Palestinians had attacked Jewish cars in their region of the West Bank.

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) claimed that Palestinians who throw stones at Jewish cars on the roads in Judea and Samaria, do so with an intent to kill. When someone fire shots in an incident of that nature, they do so in self defense, he said.

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