16-year old youth shot dead by settler
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16-year old youth shot dead by settler

***image2***According to the village council, five youth aged between twelve and sixteen were in the area of Ayyon Al Haramiyeh, some 20 to 30 meters from road 60. The settler road cuts through the lands of Mazra’a ash-Sharqiyyeh, a village of some 7000 inhabitants in West Ramallah district. Since its construction access to the land on either side of the road has been dangerous for the villagers and harassment is common.

The youth reported that at a certain point a settler car stopped. A settler got out of the car and started shooting at the children. The children ran away in the direction of the village while the settler left the road and chased them while continuing to shoot. Aysser fell injured by the shots while the others, too frightened to stop, continued running to the village and raised the alarm.

Members of Aysser’s family hastened to look for him and found him dead in the place of shooting.

This incident comes after Israeli forces killed four Palestinian youth in March in two separate acts of wilful killings, as investigative reports concluded.

The shooting comes a few days after settlers from Shilo, accompanied by Israeli occupation forces took a provocative ‘tour’ around the area and attempted to enter Mazra’a ash-Sharqiyyeh. People in the area had already warned that those ‘tours’ are often the beginning of a wider escalation of violence by the settlers against the people in the area, which includes harassment and violence of many kinds and is normally aimed at intimidating the population so as to make further land grab easier.

Settlers enjoy impunity for any violence meted out against the Palestinian population, so there is little hope that the perpetrators will be brought to trial. The last widely reported trial regarding settler violence was a clear example of the Israeli courts’ refusal to grant justice: in August 2009 a settler, caught on videotape shooting at Palestinians, was acquitted by the court because of ‘national security’ reasons. It is therefore expected that the perpetrator of the crime will not be held accountable.