Hundreds of Gazans yesterday attended the funeral of a four-year-old boy who died after being hit by Israeli shrapnel at a border 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 Younis, in 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 border 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 Younis hospital, told Reuters.
Gaza’s health ministry, run by the Hamas, said more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops since March at border protests demanding an end to an Israeli-led blockade of the coastal strip.
Israel’s military said it did “everything possible to avoid harming children,” and accused Hamas of endangering the lives of civilians by orchestrating the protests.
The boy’s father, Yasser Abu Abed, who suffered a leg injury, said they were among a hundred other protesters nearly 300 metres from the fence when Israeli forces opened fire.
“We did not expect anything bad would happen as things were calm,” he said.
A baby who was delivered prematurely by emergency Caesarean section to an Israeli woman wounded in a Palestinian drive-by shooting died in hospital yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Shira Ish-Ran, seven months pregnant, her husband and five others were injured in Sunday’s attack at a bus stop outside the Jewish settlement of Ofra in the occupied West Bank.
Doctors said she was shot in the abdomen and that her son was born in critical condition.
The Palestinian gunman fled the scene, Israel said. “My heart, our hearts, are with Shira and Avihai at the death of a four-day-old baby who does not even have a name,” Netanyahu told foreign media and diplomats in a speech.
“The security forces are in pursuit of the perpetrator.”
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