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20-year-old Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in Silwan

Oct. 12, 2016 10:45 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 1:33 P.M.)
20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A 20-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Tuesday night during clashes that erupted in the town of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem just south of the Old City, amid ongoing violent police raids in the Jerusalem area.

Ali Atef Shuyukhi was shot and critically injured by live fire during clashes at around 11 p.m., with Israeli forces also firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at Palestinian youth who responded with fireworks and Molotov cocktails, reportedly causing a military jeep to catch fire.

The 20-year-old man succumbed to his wounds after minutes, as Israeli police closed off the area to traffic and pedestrians, denying ambulances access to the youth.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that their ambulance crews were repeatedly searched and harassed by Israeli forces as they were prevented from accessing Shuyukhi, and were thus unable to confirm details of his fatal injuries.

However, according to the local organization the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Shuyukhi was shot in the stomach, while state-run news agency Wafa reported that he was shot in the chest.
The funeral procession for 20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi was held just two hours after he was killed (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)
Meanwhile, another Palestinian youth was shot and injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet to the eye while dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that clashes erupted in Silwan on Tuesday, confirming that Israeli border police opened fire at Palestinians who were throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

She confirmed that one Palestinian was injured, and that Israeli police was later informed that the man had died and been buried.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past year for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been detained through non-lethal means.

Amid the clashes, Israeli forces had also raided several homes in Silwan belonging to the al-Abbasi family, assaulting 60-year-old Khalil al-Abbasi and his son Abed, while smashing the door of a house belonging to Ahmad al-Abbasi as they broke inside to search it.

According to the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, Shuyukhi was a former prisoner and was released in early 2016 after spending 15 months in Israeli custody. According to local Palestinian media sites, he had been detained by Israeli forces several times over the years, since he was first arrested at 12 years old.

20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi and his twin brother (Photo: Social media)
Just two hours after his death, he was laid to rest at the Turbet al-Sawahira cemetery in Jerusalem, with mourners chanting slogans in support of Shuyukhi, saying: "We in Silwan have made it known that Ali is a star in its sky. God is great, and praise be to God."

Shuyukhi’s family hastened to hold his burial shortly after midnight, in fear that his body would be detained by Israeli authorities, as Israel has imposed a policy of withholding bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces since a wave of unrest swept across the Palestinian territory and Israel a year ago, that has seen 233 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers.

The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons by Palestinians on Israeli targets, however, at least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during clashes, police and/or army raids since Oct. 1, 2015.

Clashes in Silwan came amid extra security measures and closures across the occupied territory and in East Jerusalem in particular amid the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, severely restricting the movement of Palestinians.

Meanwhile, hours before Shuyukhi was killed, four Palestinian youth were injured with live fire during the third consecutive day of clashes in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem in the aftermath of a deadly shooting attack on Sunday.

Both Silwan and al-Ram have been the focus of ongoing detention campaigns and heavy security restrictions in the wake of the attack, as the slain shooter Misbah Abu Sbeih was from Silwan, but was recently forced to relocate to al-Ram after Israeli authorities banned him from entering the Jerusalem municipality.

As a result of the violent nature of the raids, locals have protested outside of the targeted homes, leading to clashes with Israeli forces.

After already being raided Sunday and Monday, at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Israeli forces again raided properties in al-Ram belonging to the Abu Sbeih family, rounding up all family members in one room at gunpoint and preventing them from talking or moving.

Soldiers then searched every room, "damaging the family’s belongings," while other soldiers took photos and measurements of the apartments, seemingly in preparation for an impending punitive demolition of their homes.

A number of Abu Sbeih’s family members have been summoned for interrogation and detained, including his 17-year-old daughter.The family also said that Israeli soldiers threatened to revoke their Jerusalem IDs.
The funeral procession for 20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi was held just two hours after he was killed (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)

The funeral procession for 20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi was held just two hours after he was killed (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)

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