GAZA, (ENGLISH.ALRESALAH.PS)--Ali Abu Alia had just turned 15 on Friday when his body was being pulled out from the morgue at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah city.
For the mourners holding the coffin there was nothing but to shout: "We have no shelter but You, O God."
Ali was shot last Friday with live ammunition in clashes in the village of al-Mughayir, near the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
An ambulance transferred Ali Abu Alia to a Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah where a doctor pronounced him dead shortly after his arrival.
Ali's father, Ayman, promised to throw him a party for the first time ever.
Ali got excited and asked his mother to prepare the cake for the evening.
But the occupation troops gifted him a deadly birthday surprise: a live ammunition in the abdomen.
According to information obtained by the Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), Israeli occupying forces shot Ali in the abdomen while he was observing clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces at the entrance to the village.
Just like much of the West Bank, protests against illegal Israeli settlements are held in al-Mughayyir every week.
Upon hearing the news, Ali’s mother collapsed and the family sought a counselor to try to calm her down.
Four other Palestinians were reportedly injured by rubber-coated metal bullets.
An Israeli military spokesperson denied that live ammunition was used at the protest, media reported on Friday.
Ayman described his son as being “the most quiet kid”, friendly, full of joy and had a smile that never left his face.
He spent most of his time either playing football with his friends or herding sheep with his grandfather.
“I miss everything about him – his smile, his laughter and joy in his eyes when his team [friends] win in a football game. He has left a gap in his family’s hearts that no one can fill,” Ayman said.
“His death fell as hard as thunder on our home, but he isn’t the first Palestinian kid [to be killed] and won’t be the last.”
Ali is the fifth Palestinian minor from the West Bank to be killed by Israeli forces using live ammunition this year, according to the DCIP, and the second killing documented in al-Mughayyir in recent years.
In February 2018, Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Laith Abu Naim in al-Mughayyir after he threw a stone at a military vehicle, the DCIP said in a statement on Friday. The rubber-coated metal bullet entered the left side of his forehead and settled in his brain.
According to international law, intentional lethal force is only justified when there is a direct threat to life or serious injury, but investigations by the DCIP suggest Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian minors in unwarranted circumstances, which may amount to extrajudicial killings.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, director at the DCIP, on Friday said Israeli forces routinely violate international law by using lethal force against Palestinian children without justification.
Residents of al-Mughayyir regularly hold protests against the nearby illegal Israeli outpost Malachei HaShalom, established on village land in 2015, according to the DCIP.
Ayman said two mosques in their neighbourhood have been burned down by settlers so far – Al Kabeer Mosque and Abu Bakir mosque. His 17-year-old son, Bassam, was wounded twice before by Israeli settlers and the Israeli army.
Every Friday, Israeli settlers show up down the street in al-Mughayyir and start attacking Palestinian residents, throwing stones at them or at their cars. It is all done with the intention “to deprive us of our freedom and identity”, Ayman said.
The head of al-Mughayir village council, Amin Abu Alia said, “The occupation forces at the checkpoint targeted many boys during clashes out there with live ammunitions, injuring Ali and four others".