27-year-old Palestinian killed near Hebron after funeral of his cousin

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Ziyad Awad, shot and killed on Friday, was attending his cousin Jafar's funeral, who died after he was given incorrect medication in prison

The funeral procession of 22-year-old Jafar Awad in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron on 9 April 2015 (Wattan TV)
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Thursday 23 July 2015 12:20 UTC
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The Israeli army shot and killed 27-year-old Ziyad Awad on Friday during a protest in a village near Hebron that broke out after the funeral of his cousin, Jafar Awad, attended by thousands.

Hundreds of Palestinian men clashed with the Israeli army in Beit Ummar after Jafar Awad was buried shortly after Friday noon prayers. According to witnesses, the army responded with the use of live fire, rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and skunk water, which is chemically enhanced sewage water.

Medical sources said Ziyad Awad was shot in the head with a live bullet, and died at the Ahli Hospital in Hebron. Three other Palestinians were injured by live ammunition, while six were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Family and friends held Ziyad Awad’s funeral immediately after the shooting. Israeli soldiers initially blocked their procession to Beit Ummar’s cemetery, forcing them to take an alternative route for the burial.

In recent years, his cousin, Jafar, 22, was arrested, imprisoned and released several times. He was most recently released this January after his health had started to rapidly deteriorate in prison.

The head of prisoners affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said that Jafar’s illness began when he was given incorrect insulin shots in Eshel Prison, resulting in neck inflation, inability to speak, impaired vision, pain in the head, and trembling in the body.

“Israel alone is responsible for his death,” Qaraqe’ said in a statement, and called for an international probe.

After the Prisoners’ Society’s legal department submitted an appeal, Israeli prison authorities agreed to release Jafar with a fine of 40,000 shekels ($10,200). By then, Jafar was suffering from severe pneumonia, heart problems and thyroid and pancreas complications.

In April 2013, 64-year-old Maysara Abu Hamdiah died in prison as a result of throat cancer. Palestinian officials accused Israel, who had only given Hamdiah antibiotics and painkillers, of medical neglect.

Amjad al-Najjar, the director of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society in Hebron, said that the number of prisoners “killed by Israel” is up to 209.

Najjat said on Friday that Jafar Awad “will not be the last one killed” by “medical neglect” carried out by Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners.