Two boys killed in less than 24 hours in the West Bank
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Two boys killed in less than 24 hours in the West Bank

The latest spree of settler violence has claimed two young Palestinians in Nablus and Hebron. Settlers shot dead 19-year-old Uday Maher Qadousi on Thursday in Iraq Burin. The following day, settlers opened fire on 17-year-old Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl from Beit Ummar, leaving him brain dead.

On Thursday afternoon, Uday was shot dead by settlers from one of the nearby settlements of either Yitzar or Bracha. He was taken to the Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus, where he died.

This is the latest in killings that have hit the village of Iraq Burin, just south of Nablus, which has been struggling against the land theft and violence carried out by the settlers from the nearby settlements. Following organized, weekly anti-settlement protests, Occupation soldiers shot dead Usaid Abd Qadus (19) and Muhammad Ibrahim Abdel-Qadr Qadus (16) in March 2010.

On Friday, Yousef was rushed to a Hebron hospital after being shot by settlers, where doctors declared him brain dead. According to the Beit Ummar-based Palestine Solidarity Project, setters from Bat Ayn settlement opened fire on the villages of Saffa and Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, shooting Yousef in the head and another 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the arm.

Like Iraq Burin, the people of Beit Ummar have also been struggling against local settlement expansion. Facing regular violence from Occupation forces, protestors are regularly shot at and arrested.

The deadly shootings in Iraq Burin and Beit Ummar are the latest crimes, joining the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah in Bil’in and the injuries and arrests suffered by the people of al Nabi Saleh. These killings are not isolated events, but rather illustrate how Occupation forces, whether soldiers or settlers, consistently use deadly violence with impunity against villages struggling against Wall and settlements across the West Bank.

Update: Media sources report that Yousef passed away from his injuries on January 29. Occupation soldiers later attacked those participating in his funeral.