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Clashes in Jerusalem as Palestinian teen dies

Sept. 8, 2014 10:46 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2014 3:58 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Clashes broke out in East Jerusalem late Sunday after news of the death of a Palestinian teenager who died from injuries sustained when he was shot last week by Israeli border police, his family and a hospital said.

Police said Palestinians threw stones and firecrackers at officers in Wadi Joz and the Issawiya and al-Tur districts of East Jerusalem and stoned civilian traffic.

They also threw petrol bombs at a petrol station on the edge of the East Jerusalem Israeli settlement of French Hill, setting a pump on fire.

Police said they responded to the unrest with unspecified "riot dispersal" weapons.

No serious injuries were reported on either side.

Muhammad Abd al-Majid Sunuqrut was shot last Monday by Israeli forces as he was talking on the phone in Wadi al-Joz in what his father at the time told Ma'an was an "unprovoked attack."

Police said Sunuqrut was shot in the leg with a sponge grenade -- intended to be a non-lethal form of crowd control -- while rioting, but his family said he was shot in the head on his way to the mosque.

"There were no clashes in the area, he went for night prayers at the mosque and was bringing bread back home," his uncle Muhtadi Sunuqrut told AFP.

"Whatever they call the bullet -- it caused Mohammed's death, it broke his skull and caused internal bleeding," he said.

"This is an assassination."

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP the border police had identified Sunuqrut as being "involved in rioting" and he was "shot in the leg" with the projectile, which has a foam-rubber nose atop a high-density plastic body and is fired from a grenade launcher.

Despite being hit, Sunuqrut attempted to flee but he "fell and then was transferred to Maqased hospital," Rosenfeld said.

Rosenfeld said the teen must have hit his head when he fell. He said the justice ministry's internal affairs unit was looking into the incident, in what he described as "standard procedure" for such cases.

After initial treatment in Maqased hospital in East Jerusalem, he was transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem in west Jerusalem where he was pronounced dead on Sunday.

A hospital spokeswoman told AFP his body was being transferred to the Abu Kabir forensic institute in Tel Aviv for an autopsy.

But Sami Sunuqrut, another uncle of the teenager, said the family do not want a post-mortem.

"We don't want an autopsy, we know why he was killed," he told AFP, saying police had shot him "point blank" at a time when there were no clashes in the area.

Israeli forces blocked a main road in al-Issawiya with piles of dirt and rocks following the clashes.

Over 770 Palestinians have been detained in East Jerusalem following widespread demonstrations in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shufat after the murder of teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir on July 2.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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