Mourners waited by the thousands for the funeral of Ahmed Moussa, the young boy killed early this week by Israeli soldiers during a protest in Nilin. A peaceful funeral for the young boy was not to be, however; as Palestinians shouted words of mourning and profanities at the Israeli police surrounding the scene, they were hit by canisters of tear gas. As Haaretz so aptly put it, “the funeral no longer belonged to the family.”
Apartheid Again, who works for a women's peace group in Palestine, attended the funeral and asks:
Why did the soldiers have to come to Ni'lin today? Could they not have left the area just for one hour or even stood 100 metres further back and just let it be? Could they not have let Ahmed's family and friends mourn without lining up as if to goad them and gloat that they had murdered him? I simply cannot understand what I see here.
The blogger also posts this account from a colleague (an Australian living in Palestine who blogs at Live From Occupied Palestine):
As our car, which was about half way through the funeral procession, came to the highway, we could see the Israeli occupation forces had blocked the road and stopped Israeli plated cars from continuing. This sight was a relief. Soon we, along with the Palestinians mourners and other internationals poured out of the vehicles on to the highway. However, as we approached the entrance of Ni'lin we could see the Israeli occupation forces had also setup another barricade at the far side of the village entrance.
This was a clearly provocative act on the behalf of the Israeli occupation forces. They could have easily set up the barrier (as the road lead to TelAviv) 50 or 100 or 200 metres or more away. Placing the barrier where they did meant they would be confrontation, as emotions, tempers and anger at the killing and death of Ahmed spilled over.
It was not to be a peaceful day; later that afternoon, a young attendee of Ahmed Moussa's funeral was shot by Israeli soldiers and fell into a coma. The young man (aged 17 or 18), Youssef Amira, fell into a coma and was later declared brain dead. Chroniques du Palestine shared photos of the young man in hospital.
My Window to the World calls on us to remember the two youths:
I have read many discussions and opinions about Ahmed’s death. Many trying to justify the murder or place blame on the family for “letting” a child be in a place where there are weapons. Well, the murder of a child can never be justified. This murder was so clearly intentional that there are no arguments in the world that could ease the blame on the soldier pulling the trigger. Secondly, there is no safe place for children here. The weapons are everywhere, and they are in the hands of the Israeli soldiers. The occupation is by Israeli. The wall and road blocks preventing people from moving are done by Israel. Soldiers come into villages, people’s houses, schools, playgrounds, how can you keep a child safe from that?
The blogger concludes:
I don’t know what to do in this. I don’t know what to think. I have tried to think about the soldiers here as people, like the rest of us. And I have met many which are polite and nice, like any other 18-20 year old. Seeing soldiers like the ones in Ni’ilin makes me give up all hope of humanity. Can we all be turned into this? Can we all put aside our ability for empathy? Can we all be killers?