Israeli troops fatally shot the two Palestinian youths, aged nine and seventeen in a village known for its nonviolent resistance. One of those killed was among several youths who were fired upon after attending the funeral of a nine-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmad Moussa killed by Israeli soldiers a day earlier (Moussa is pictured on the right above with Palestinian medics shortly after being shot).
At Moussa's funeral the mayor of Ni’lin, Ayman Nafe’ said, “...the Occupation killed our boy in cold blood,” adding “...the killing of Ahmad will not scare us of fighting the Wall, on the contrary, now we will fight more.”
Also during the funeral service, the Ni’lin Popular Committee stated, “The Occupation accuses small children with empty hands and bare chests of causing a threat to their forces and their security, but we know exactly why the Occupation is building this wall and that is to expel us from our lands. Ahmad set an example for all of us. We will all fight together in this popular struggle, the farmer, the worker, every Palestinian.”
A few hours after the funeral Yousef Amira, 17, was shot. He died the next day.
The shootings took place in the village of Ni'lin, where residents have staged daily nonviolent actions against Israel's wall through the West Bank. The village was recently the site of another controversial shooting. On July 7th, an Israeli soldier was captured on film shooting a rubber bullet at a handcuffed Palestinian man.
A border policeman has been arrested in connection with last week's killing of Moussa. However, he was released from police custody to five days of house arrest as the investigation continued.
A Border Police inquiry launched last week after the shooting found that live ammunition had been used in the vicinity of the shooting. Live rounds can only be used by officers when they feel their lives to be in danger, a Border Police spokesman said.
The protest today included left wing and anarchist Israelis. At around 6 pm demonstrators arrived at Col. Reshef's home, and police arrived on the scene shortly after. Officers ordered the protesters to leave, and when they refused many of them were arrested. The activists clashed with police as they attempted to draw closer to the commander's house.
The day after the shooting of Moussa, Israeli's protested outside the the apartment of Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense. They chanted "Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense, How many children have you murdered until now?" The protesters - activists of Gush Shalom, Anarchists Against the Wall and others, arrived at the residence after marching through the streets of Tel Aviv. The demonstrators carried signs which said: "Goliath killed David", "Soldier, refuse to take part in war crimes", "Security cannot be built on the bodies of children", "Hast thou robbed and also murdered?" (An allusion to the well-known Biblical admonition of the prophet Elijah to King Ahab: "Hast thou killed and also taken possession?") Many carried a simple poster with the picture of the boy and the inscription: "Ahmad Moussa, 1998-2008"
The following is from the Jerusalem Post.
Police arrest 23 left-wing activists
Twenty-three left-wing activists were arrested in Zichron Yaakov Tuesday during a demonstration over the recent deaths of two young Palestinians in Ni'lin.
The protest was held near the home of Binyamin Brigade Commander Col. Aviv Reshef, who is in charge of army operations in Ni'lin. Approximately 40 people marched toward the house, calling slogans and waving signs against the military commander.
Police soon arrived at the scene and ordered the activists to disperse, saying the demonstration was held without authorization. Demonstrators refused, and attempted to reach the Reshef's home despite the prohibition. Scuffles broke out between policemen and protesters, and subsequently many of the latter were arrested.
The protest comes on the heels of two incidents last week, in which an 11-year-old boy and 18-year-old youth were killed in Ni'lin.
In the first incident, Ahmed Ussam Yusef Mousa, 11, was shot and killed in the aftermath of a demonstration against the security barrier. Witnesses have alleged that the boy was shot by a border policeman. Security forces are investigating the case, but have admitted that live fire was apparently used. Meanwhile, the policeman in question has been put under house arrest.
A day later, Yousef Ahmed Younis Amera, 18, was declared brain dead in a Ramallah hospital after he was allegedly shot in the head by Border Police. Amera later died of his wounds, and Border Police are also investigating that incident as well.