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Murdered teen laid to rest, as tensions flare in Shufat

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The body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir is carried aloft towards the mosque. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
The body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir is carried aloft towards the mosque. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Tensions in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shufat in East Jerusalem ignited today as mourners laid Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 17-year-old kidnap victim to rest. Grief and anger collided, creating a volatile atmosphere that lead to intense clashes with Israeli forces who surrounded the neighborhood.

Photos of heavy clashes, fires, destroyed tramlines and rubble ridden roads have circulated around social media from the neighbourhood since the discovery of Abu Khdeir’s burnt body on Wednesday morning. However all of these previous clashes came to a peak after Abu Khdeir was laid to rest this afternoon.

Young men run from tear gas on Shufat's main street. The light rail station was burned and destroyed the night Abu Khdeir's body was discovered. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Young men run from tear gas on Shufat’s main street. The light rail station was burned and destroyed the night Abu Khdeir’s body was discovered. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

“We can’t bare this. It’s too much to consider that something like this could happen to Mohammed. The way they found his body wasn’t human,” a cousin of Abu Khdeir told Mondoweiss, pausing for a moment to gather himself before continuing, “He was the quietest, sweetest boy. His heart was pure.”

Abu Khdeir’s body was found early Wednesday morning. Witnesses at the scene of his disappearance have reported previously that the teenager was forced into a car which then fled the scene. Abu Khdeir was seen next lying in a forest after being killed, burned, and then dumped there by his killers.

Abu Khdeir’s family and friends believe his death was a revenge killing carried out by settlers after the bodies of three young settlers, Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, were discovered near Hebron on June 30th after they went missing during a kidnapping on June 12th near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion. The notion that Abu Khdeir’s death was a revenge killing is well supported, backed up by witness statements and multiple “pricetag” attacks reported over the last few days.

Relative of Abu Khdeir's mourns his death. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Relative of Abu Khdeir’s mourns his death. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Abu Khdeir’s body was released from Israeli authorities today following a day long wait filled with anger and destruction throughout the village. On Thursday, Abu Khdeir’s family and friends waited all day and night for his body to be returned to Shufat to carry out the funeral, only for it to be held for another day.

According to Muslim tradition, the dead must be buried before sundown on the day of the death.

“We couldn’t even bury him with dignity,” his cousin said. “This is the most difficult, he is a martyr, the most honored of all deaths and he couldn’t be buried with dignity.”

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Posters of Abu Khdeir strung along the streets of Shufat. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Posters of Abu Khdeir were strung across the street, in tandem with Ramadan light decorations —  the same decorations that Mohammed had helped to put up just days earlier with friends.

His family now have an empty spot at their table over the holy month of Ramadan.

Mourners pray at Shufat mosque before funeral march. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Mourners pray at Shufat mosque before funeral march. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Large crowds gather on Shufat's main street, waiting the arrival of Abu Khdeir's remains. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Large crowds gather on Shufat’s main street, waiting the arrival of Abu Khdeir’s remains. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Draped in a Palestinian flag, young men of Shufat joined hands and formed a barrier to create a path for Abu Khdeir’s body to pass into the mosque. The crowds were at times up to six people deep on each side along the funeral path.

“He was the nicest person, friendly, quiet and liked by everyone, I can’t believe this happened to him” a friend of Abu Khdeir, who wished to remain anonymous, told Mondoweiss. “I am in shock, Shufat is in shock.”

Streets of Shufat filled with mourners as Mohammed Abu Khdeir's body is carried in a green casket in the foreground. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Streets of Shufat filled with mourners as Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s body is carried in a green casket in the foreground. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

After leaving the mosque, Abu Khdeir’s body was carried in a casket along Shufat’s main street. The funeral procession was met by IDF soldiers and Israeli police who begun to fire tear gas and rubber-coated-steel bullets at the procession to stop it marching further. Clashes broke out between both sides up until Iftar, around 7:30 pm.

Israeli forces line up outside Shufat neighbourhood before the funeral. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Israeli forces line up outside Shufat neighbourhood before the funeral. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

The anger at increasing settler violence and recent IDF aggression during Operation Brother’s Keeper was palpable in the air. An atmosphere that appears to be increasing further within Palestinian East Jerusalem villages, like Shufat, as well as in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli army in​ Shufat block road and shoot of tear gas. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Israeli army in​ Shufat block road and shoot of tear gas. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Injured young man carried away by medics at clashes in Shufat after funeral. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
Injured young man carried away by medics at clashes in Shufat after funeral. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)
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Israel’s days are numbered. Even for the aging zionists in the US as they die off, the younger generation will not support Israel.

If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by
–– Sun Tzu

Thank you both for bringing this to us– your work to record the truth is so appreciated.

And now it appears that his cousin Taqir Khdeir, who was badly beaten, is an American citizen from Tampa, Florida.

CAIR’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational?fref=nf

I heard there’s a gag order in effect.

Here we go again.

I can’t remember where I read it but it seems that former or current police were responsible for the story that the kid was gay. Also that they forged documents to make their allegations look real.