Gazan youth shot dead by Hamas police over attempted aid theft, sparking fiery protests

Protesters urged to 'confront' Hamas policemen and 'seize their weapons' amid growing frustration; Hamas border control official says 'no truth' to reports of fatal shooting

Fatal shooting of youth by Hamas police sparks fiery protests in Gaza's Rafah

Protests erupted in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Friday after Hamas police fatally shot a Palestinian youth who attempted to take food from humanitarian aid packages delivered to the war-torn territory.
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Relatives of Muhammad al-Araja, a member of a large clan in Rafah who was shot dead by a Hamas policeman Friday afternoon, burned tires near the border crossing in response to his fatal shooting, spurring riots that Hamas law enforcement failed to quell.
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מוחמד אלערג'א
מוחמד אלערג'א
Muhammad al-Araja
A Hamas border control official did not address the incident and denied the reports, saying, "There is no truth to the information being circulated in the media and on social networks."
However, he accused a "group of displaced people" of setting car tires on fire and attacking trucks carrying food on their way to the Gaza Strip.
In a message circulating on social media in Gaza, "the youth of Rafah" called on Palestinians in the city "not to yield to the Hamas militia."
The protesters urged "to confront them, seize their weapons and appoint a committee to manage Rafah that includes all Palestinian factions and families not affiliated with Hamas. Our patience has run out; we are not afraid of death."
Riots erupted in late December after Hamas police fatally shot a Gazan youth trying to take from the aid packages.
Gazans set fire to police station in western Rafah after Hamas police shoot civilian, December 2023

The victim was from the Abu Bureika family, a prominent clan in southern Rafah, which had been enlisted to help Hamas safeguard the aid packages until the incident occurred. In response, the family threatened retribution and set tires on fire outside the city's police station.
"We call on the Hamas government to take responsibility for its actions. They told us to guarantee the entrance of the aid, but today they shot at us and a member of my family," said a relative of the victim during a protest outside the police station.
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