Over one thousand mourners gather in Bethlehem to lay 13-year-old Abed Obeidallah to rest

Israel/Palestine
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Israeli forces shot 13-year-old Abed Obeidallah in the chest, killing him almost instantly on Monday afternoon, right as protests were beginning in front of Aida refugee camp, where the boy lived.

Since then Israeli media has reported that the boy was shot in the chest by accident. Some reports say Israeli forces meant to shoot the boy in the leg, but the bullet hit the concrete and ricocheted, while other reports claim Israeli forces were aiming at a different person all together.

Family members carry Abed Obeidallah to the local cemetery, passing by the boy's UNRWA school. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Family members carry Abed Obeidallah to the local cemetery, passing by the boy’s UNRWA school. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Regardless of the circumstances of Obeidallah’s death, more than one thousand mourners showed up to lay the young teenager to rest on Tuesday in a cemetery just minutes away from the UN school Obeidallah had just left from before he was shot.

Obeidallah was still in his school uniform when he died. His family said he was a good student, his teachers’ favorite. He loved playing football and making people laugh, his family said.

Abed Obeidallah's father before his son is laid to rest. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah’s father before his son is laid to rest. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah's sister kisses the head of Abed before he is laid to rest. ​​​ (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah’s sister kisses Abed’s head before he is laid to rest. ​​​
(Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah's uncle, Fadir Obeidallah, comforts his sister. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah’s uncle, Fadir Obeidallah, comforts his sister. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Obeidallah is the fourth Palestinian youth to have been shot dead by Israeli forces since Friday, amid ongoing clashes and ever-increasing tensions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem during the past several weeks.

Young men pray for Abed outside the local mosque during midday prayers before he is laid to rest. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Young men pray for Abed outside the local mosque during midday prayers before he is laid to rest. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

More than a thousand people took part in the 13-year-old's funeral. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

More than a thousand people took part in the 13-year-old’s funeral. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

"Abdelrahman's seat in our classroom will remain unoccupied." (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

“Abdelrahman’s seat in our classroom will remain unoccupied.” (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah's uncle, Fadir Obeidallah, points out a photo taken of Abed right before his death. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

Abed Obeidallah’s uncle, Fadir Obeidallah, points out a photo taken of Abed right before his death. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was in attendance, along with many other armed factions. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was in attendance, along with many other armed factions. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

The Fatah movement's armed wing attended the funeral. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

The Fatah movement’s armed wing attended the funeral. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

(Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

(Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

More than a thousand mourners attended the funeral of the 13-year-old boy shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

More than a thousand mourners attended the funeral of the 13-year-old boy shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

About Sheren Khalel

Sheren Khalel is a freelance multimedia journalist who works out of Israel, Palestine and Jordan. She focuses on human rights, women's issues and the Palestine/Israel conflict. Khalel formerly worked for Ma'an News Agency in Bethlehem, and is currently based in Ramallah and Jerusalem. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sherenk.

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7 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    October 6, 2015, 11:20 pm

    RE: “Israeli forces shot 13-year-old Abed Obeidallah in the chest, killing him almost instantly on Monday afternoon, right as protests were beginning in front of Aida refugee camp, where the boy lived. Since then Israeli media has reported that the boy was shot in the chest by accident. Some reports say Israeli forces meant to shoot the boy in the leg, but the bullet hit the concrete and ricocheted, while other reports claim Israeli forces were aiming at a different person all together.” ~ Sheren Khalel

    SEE: “Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?”, By Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 06/13/11

    (excerpt)..Last week, there was a repeat performance. The Palestinians all around Israel have declared June 5 “Naksa” Day, to commemorate the “Setback” of 1967, when Israel spectacularly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, reinforced by elements from the Iraqi and Saudi armies.
    This time, the Israeli army was prepared. The fence was reinforced and an anti-tank ditch dug in front of it. When the demonstrators tried to reach the fence—again near Majdal Shams—they were shot by sharpshooters. Some 22 were killed, and many dozens were wounded. The Palestinians report that people trying to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead were also shot and killed.
    No doubt this was a deliberate tactic decided upon in advance by the army command after the Naqba Day fiasco and approved by Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. As was said quite openly, the Palestinians had to be taught a lesson they would not forget, so as to drive any idea of an unarmed mass action out of their minds.
    It is frighteningly reminiscent of events 10 years ago.
    After the first Intifada, in which stone-throwing youngsters and children won a moral victory that led to the Oslo agreement, our army conducted exercises in anticipation of a second Intifada. This broke out after the political disaster of Camp David, and the army was ready.
    The new Intifada started with mass demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians. They were met by specially trained sharpshooters. Next to each sharpshooter stood an officer who pointed out the individuals who were to be shot because they looked like ringleaders: “The guy in the red shirt… Now the boy with the blue trousers…”
    The unarmed uprising broke down and was replaced by suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and other “terrorist” acts. With those our army was on familiar ground.

    I suspect very much that we are witnessing much the same thing once more. Again, specially trained sharpshooters are at work, directed by officers…

    SOURCE – http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2011/06/12/netanyahu-stupid-like-a-fox/

    • JLewisDickerson
      October 6, 2015, 11:32 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

      [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.
      This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/02/the-next-intifada/

  2. just
    October 7, 2015, 7:18 am

    (The terrorist barbarians shot him in the heart)

    RIP Abed, dear child of Palestine.

  3. Ossinev
    October 7, 2015, 9:19 am

    There was a sad incident in the UK in recent days when a young policeman ( obviously unarmed ) was killed when trying to stop a stolen vehicle using a “stinger” device. He had more courage and morality in his little finger than the entire IDF / Israeli Police/Israeli Border Police/Shin Bet put together. What scum of the earth these people have become.

    • just
      October 7, 2015, 9:08 pm

      “He had more courage and morality in his little finger than the entire IDF / Israeli Police/Israeli Border Police/Shin Bet put together. What scum of the earth these people have become. ”

      Yes he did, Ossinev.

      And yet this was printed in Haaretz today:

      “… Some things are beyond me. I can understand a woman going to a sperm bank so she can have a child, and requesting a smart donor. That makes sense. I can even kind of understand a woman who, in contemporary Israel, chooses to have a blond and blue-eyed donor — assuming her wish stems from an awareness of the racism within Israeli society and a desire for her future child to have an easier life.

      But why on earth would a woman want the sperm to come from a donor who’s a combat soldier?

      The demand for this type of sperm has grown recently, as reported on the Israeli Mako website. It’s unlikely the reason is that these males have a healthy profile, so what’s happening here?

      Since I fail to understand why, I turned to those who might be able to explain the phenomenon.

      Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy, head of the sociology department at Bar-Ilan University and a researcher of military and gender issues, believes that “the combat soldier embodies a set of qualities that are perceived as befitting Israeli men: physical strength; determination; courage; dedication; commitment; discipline; and mental health. He’s not just tall or successful, but encompasses many qualities combined. It’s hyper-masculinity.”

      The choice of combat soldiers is emblematic of society as a whole, adds Sasson-Levy.

      “The brave soldier is still a model of the hegemonic ideal and longed-for masculinity. However this model is undermined, with other alternatives presented, it is still the model that’s ultimately perceived as the right one,” she says.

      Moreover, she notes, our thought process is based unconsciously on military thinking and processes of selection. “The social categories we refer to are based on military selection procedures. The cognitive system by which we differentiate between people is based on militaristic values. This happens not only in job interviews and on dates, but more generally when we try to evaluate the person facing us.”

      This automatic judgment of people according to their military status is so ingrained in us that initially it seems self-evident. In fact, though, this is astounding. Militarism, it appears, starts within us, perhaps in our wombs.

      Since we’re dealing with the magical encounter between Israeli militarism and the prevailing social imperative to be fruitful and multiply at any cost (if you’re Jewish, anyway), the question arises of whether this is a new and crazy phase of “the fertility revolution” — to quote the eponymous 2013 book by Prof. Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, which deals with this local obsession. …

      …The choice being made by some of the women who turn to sperm banks and seek combat soldiers as donors embodies not just the extent of how militarism and its values are embedded in our society. It also raises a more difficult question: What does the society these children are born into direct them toward? What awaits them when they turn 18, for example?”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.678911

      It’s mind- numbing and frightening to me. It’s sick, too.

      (I did almost laugh when I read that “Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy, head of the sociology department at Bar-Ilan University and a researcher of military and gender issues, believes that “the combat soldier embodies a set of qualities that are perceived as befitting Israeli men: physical strength; determination; courage; dedication; commitment; discipline; and mental health.”)

  4. ejran
    October 7, 2015, 9:30 am

    The picture of his sister kissing his forehead speaks a thousand words.

    When Israel kills a Palestinian, they say they killed a “terrorist”. This is the convenient definition of Palestinians for the average Israeli. The average Israeli is carefully shielded from the humanity of this “other”. The media avoids any hints that these (sub) people don’t deserve what is being done to them. This is why people need to see more pictures of Palestinians as people. Not dead bodies, blood, or masked heads, but full faces. Eyes. It’s hard to be indifferent to the eyes. Pictures of those people when they were alive, smiling, happy. Their siblings. Their family. Seeing life and then imagining the absence of it is much more unsettling than seeing death. One easily grows immune to seeing death. Their stories need to be told- not just the story of the killing, they start to sound the same after so many, but who they are, what they did and what they loved. The books they read. The friends they had at school. The little things they loved but lost when their home was recently demolished, or when they were told they had fifteen minutes to evacuate. Arabic names mean little to foreign readers, but pictures are powerful. Pictures move people. If a story were made about every Palestinian who was killed- a profile, a eulogy, this would be far-reaching, I think. The average person sitting in front of the screen needs more reminders that these are beautiful people, humans with hopes, fears, worries, relationships and interests like you and me- that this could be you or me. This sounds very obvious, but it can be easily forgotten. The media needs to be used to full advantage.

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