News ID: 235685
Published: 0406 GMT December 12, 2018

Gaza boy succumbs to Israeli fire injuries

Gaza boy succumbs to Israeli fire injuries
Sister of Palestinian boy Ahmed Abu Abed is comforted as she mourns during his funeral in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, on December 12, 2018.

Hundreds of Gazans on Wednesday attended the funeral of a four-year-old boy who died after being hit by Israeli shrapnel at a Gaza fence protest last week, according to Palestinian medical officials.

Wrapped in a Palestinian flag, the body of Ahmed Abu Abed was carried on people's shoulders as mourners threw flowers into the procession in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

Reuters footage from the protest last Friday showed the boy being carried by a medic into a field hospital not far from the fence after being injured.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said he "was hit by shrapnel from Israeli gunfire".

"There was one piece of bullet shrapnel in the eye that settled at the bottom of the brain, that was the most serious of all, and that what most likely killed him," Mohammad Abu Hilal, director of emergency department at Khan Yunis hospital, told Reuters.

Gaza's Health Ministry said more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during Great March of Return demonstrations. Since March 30 Palestinian protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Israel's military claimed it did "everything possible to avoid harming children," and accused Hamas of endangering the lives of civilians by orchestrating the protests.

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement denies the allegation and Palestinians accuse Israel of using excessive force against protesters.

The boy's father, Yasser Abu Abed, who suffered a leg injury, said they were among a hundred other protesters nearly 300 meters from the fence when Israeli forces opened fire. "We did not expect anything bad would happen as things were calm," he said.


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