The funeral
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Panet Website
Milad Ayache
Photo: Panet Website

'Days of blood and violence ahead'

East Jerusalem tensions near boiling point as participants in funeral of teen killed during 'Nakba Day' riot predict dark days

Hundreds attended the Saturday funeral of 17-year-old Milad Ayache, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen during a 'Nakba Day' riot in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Friday.


Calls of "Allahu Akbar" and "With our souls and our blood we will redeem you, Shahid," sounded during the procession, which started at Ras al-Amoud and went through the volatile Silwan neighborhood as well. Participants also hoisted Palestinian flags.


Prior to the funeral, the Jerusalem Police increased deployment near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud, where Ayache resided, in an effort to thwart further rioting.  


Deployment was also bolstered along the funeral procession's route, which ended at the Muslim cemetery in Temple Mount.


Currently, it is unclear who fired the deadly shot. The Jerusalem District Police in investigating the incident, but a police request to autopsy the body was denied by the family. Palestinian sources said it is believed the fire came from the direction of Biet Yonatan.

'People are furious.' The funeral (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Abu Sharif, a resident Silwan, told Ynet that "All of Silwan in taking part in the funeral. People here are furious. Today and tomorrow will be days of blood and violence."


Samir, another neighbor, added that "the atmosphere here is very strained. The police murdered a child. It's typical of the Israeli police and government."


During the funeral, a group of mourners tried to force their way into a nearby Jewish home and started stoning security forces; who resulted to using crowd-control measures.


Protester near Jerusalm's Holy City (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Earlier, Palestinian sources reported that two Palestinians suffered rubber-bullet injuries during a clash with security forces near Beit Yonatan, in east Jerusalem.


Palestinian protesters continued clashing with security forces in the capital's east after the funeral as well: demonstrators stoned security forces near the Dung Gate, effectively blocking traffic and a similar clash near Mount of Olives ended with the arrest of four Palestinians.


'This was murder'

A mourners' tent was set up at the Ayache family Ras al-Amoud home Saturday afternoon.

"He was still a boy, just 17. He was and never participated in protests. The entire neighborhood loved him," Said Ayache, the teen's father, told Ynet.


"What happened (Friday) was murder. My son was intentionally murdered. The settlers and the forces guarding them used live rounds and hit him from five meters away. The Police and the Israeli government are responsible for the actions of the radical settlers that are squatting in the middle of our neighborhood.


Women at the Ayache family home (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)


"For the past two years the police are protecting the settlers," he continued. "They say they are investigating, but they will not tell the truth. People who were there told me that after the shooting the police at Beit Yonatan used tear gas and wouldn’t let my wounded son be evacuated."


Ayache senior added that his son was only an observer in the protests and had nothing to do with stoning the security forces present. "The security officers in Beit Yonatan shot him at short range. The medical report said so.


"My son… never participated in demonstrations against the settlers, even tough it's legitimate Palestinian resistance against the fact that the radical Israeli government allowed settlers to come to Silwan," he said.


He also has a message for the Israeli public: "Would you use live fire on Jewish kids protesting? Israel says it's a democracy. Where's the law? Where's the democracy?"


Said Ayache works at the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, where he translates Hebrew books into Arabic. "I went to school to try and understand the Israelis, but the occupation is robbing us of all hope. I hope my son becomes a symbol for the Palestinian people, to get rid of the Israeli occupation and the settlement in the middle of Silwan."


Elior Levy contributed to this report  




פרסום ראשון: 05.14.11, 12:30
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