Thousands of Palestinians attend funeral of 11-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces
GAZA CITY: Thousands of Palestinians on Saturday attended the funeral of the 11-year-old son of a Hamas military commander killed by Israeli fire in the southern Gaza Strip, with mourners demanding revenge.
Yasser Abu al-Naja, whose father is a member of Hamas’s military wing, was shot in the head on Friday in border clashes near the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Senior members of Hamas, which rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, and commanders of its Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades attended the funeral.
“Yasser’s martyrdom is clear proof of the crimes committed by the (Israeli) occupation against the Palestinian people,” said senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya during the ceremony.
“The occupiers killed the child in cold blood,” said Hayya, a member of the Islamist Palestinian group’s political bureau.
The boy was one of two Palestinians killed on Friday by Israeli troops during border clashes in southern Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry in the coastal enclave.
His exact age was initially unclear but his family said on Saturday that Yasser was born on September 19, 2006.
The second fatality was identified as Mohammed al-Hamayda, 24, who was shot in the stomach in a separate incident east of Rafah in Gaza’s south. A separate funeral was held for him there.
The army said thousands of Palestinians took part in “extremely violent riots” on Friday and “committed various acts of terror in several locations” along Gaza’s border with Israel.
A statement said troops responded with “riot dispersal means” and “resorted to live fire” when those failed.
It said the death of the boy would be examined.
At least 137 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, since protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30.
No Israeli has been killed.