Hundreds of mourners marched the streets of Hebron city on Sunday in the funeral procession for an 18-year-old Palestinian woman killed by Israeli forces on Saturday after the teen stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli soldier in Hebron’s Old City. Mourners carried the body of Kilzar al-Uweiwi from her family home to the al-Hussein mosque in Hebron’s Ein Sarah neighborhood for her last rites before her family said their goodbyes.
During the funeral march, mourners waved Palestinian flags and held up martyr murals of al-Uweiwi on posters as they shouted slogans against the Israeli occupation and in support of Palestinian “martyrs”. After prayers, the procession continued to Hebron’s Martyr’s Cemetery where al-Uweiwi was laid to rest.
Earlier on Sunday, Ashraf Mishal, the head of the public prosecution in Hebron, told Ma’an that an autopsy revealed al-Uweiwi had been shot three times — once in the elbow, once in the chest, and another bullet went through her lung and settled in her neck.
Mishal said al-Uweiwi could have survived the shots if she had not been left bleeding to death.
“The forensic physician identified a massive pulmonary hemorrhage as the cause of Kilzar’s death, and it would have been possible to save her life if she had had medical treatment,” he said.
The forensic report’s conclusion comes amid criticisms by rights groups that many Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in recent months did not pose sufficient threat for the use of lethal force at the time of their death.
Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.
The unrest has been marked by a surge of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals — predominantly on Israeli military targets — which have left over 25 Israelis dead, with the majority of suspected Palestinian attackers shot dead on site.
The Hebron area in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval during the months of November and December, and over 40 Palestinians have been killed in the district since recent unrest began, during attacks and clashes.
The checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque where Saturday’s stabbing took place is located in Hebron’s Old City, which has been designated as a “closed military zone” by the Israeli army since November.
Palestinian residents of the area have had to register under a number system in order to pass through the Old City’s nearly 20 military checkpoints, and locals have reported heavier restrictions imposed by the army that Israeli rights group B’Tselem has referred to as “draconian measures.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month said that it was “human nature” for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s decades-long military occupation, and urged change in Israel’s policies in the occupied area.[Source: Ma’an news agency]