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Thousands bury youths slain by Israel on Nakba Day

May 16, 2014 4:39 P.M. (Updated: May 20, 2014 10:08 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians turned out on Friday to bury two youths killed by Israeli soldiers a day earlier during protests to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Nakba, or "catastrophe," of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948.

The bodies of Nadim Siyam Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Audah Abu al-Thahir, 15, were brought to their final resting place in the villages of Abu Shukheidim and al-Mazraa al-Qibliya in the hills north of Ramallah.

The two youths were shot directly in the chest while protesting near Israel's Ofer prison, located in the central West Bank near Ramallah.

The funeral ceremony for the pair was held in the Petrol neighborhood between the two villages, where thousands prayed beside their bodies.

The funeral march began at the Palestine Medical Complex where the two were pronounced dead by medical officials the day before.

Thousands attended the march waving flags for both Hamas and Fatah, the two largest Palestinian political parties, and calling for "revenge for the blood of the martyrs."

Following prayers, funeral processions set forth towards the youths' respective hometowns, where they were laid to rest in burial plots.

As their bodies were lowered into the ground, a speaker called upon the crowd to ensure that the "blood of the youths not be wasted," and stressing the need for national unity to "respond to the crimes of the Israeli occupation."

Speakers at the funeral called for the "need to expand the scope of the Palestinian resistance" in response to the "assassination of these two young boys" and calling for the "world to intervene by condemning the crimes of the Israeli occupation.

Nuwara and al-Thahir were shot dead during clashes that broke out near Ofer prison on Thursday, following protests in commemoration of the displacement by Zionist militias of the majority of Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel in 1948.

Earlier reports gave older ages for the slain protesters, but Dr. Samir Saliba, head of the emergency department at Ramallah Hospital, told AP on Thursday evening that the two were younger than earlier reported.

Israel has killed over 60 Palestinians since last July.

Correction: An earlier version of this report said that Nuwara was 15 and that Abu al-Thahir was 17. In fact, Dr. Samir Saliba told Ma'an in the aftermath of the shooting that Abu al-Thahir was 15 and that Nuwara was 17.
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