Israeli troops kill Palestinian boy near Hebron

Maureen Clare Murphy

The Electronic Intifada /  September 12, 2023

Israeli troops shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Al-Arroub refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron/Al-Khalil, on Saturday.

Defense for Children International-Palestine said that Milad Munther Wajih al-Raee was shot in the back from a distance of around 20 meters during confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces at the entrance to the camp.

“Milad sustained one gunshot wound to his back and the bullet fragmented inside his abdomen, leading to massive internal bleeding,” the rights group added.

More than 225 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli police, troops and armed civilians since the beginning of the year, according to The Electronic Intifada’s tracking. This figure includes people who died from injuries sustained in previous years.

Those killed include at least 44 children.

Milad loved playing football, according to Palestinian news outlets:

He also rapped about his experience growing up under military occupation:

The Freedom Theater in Jenin refugee camp, located in the northern West Bank, said that the slain boy was the nephew of its former artistic director Nabil Alraee and stage manager Habeeb Alraee.

“Over the years, many of the theater’s staff, visitors and students have been welcomed in the Alraee home in al-Arroub refugee camp,” the Freedom Theater stated.

Profoundly impacted

The Freedom Theater has been profoundly impacted by Israeli occupation violence over the past year.

In June, Sadil Naghnaghieh, 14, was shot and killed by an Israeli military sniper while standing in front of her home during a raid in Jenin camp.

Sadil was the niece of the theater’s head technician and “grew up around and on the stage of The Freedom Theater.”

Last November, Mahmoud al-Sadi, a 17-year-old youth trainer with The Freedom Theater, was “shot and killed by the Israeli army on his way to school.”

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested Sadil’s uncle Muhammad Naghnaghieh, the brother of the Freedom Theater’s head technician, on 6 September.

The raiding troops “occupied the theater building, using it as a shield against any resistance fighters” attempting to repel the military, the Freedom Theater stated.

Staff were in the building at the time of the raid, turning a “vibrant, creative scene … into one of fear and extreme tension.”

Sanctuary of self-expression

The Freedom Theater added that Israel’s “repeated assaults on our theater disrupt our work and undermine its role as a cultural haven and sanctuary of self-expression for children and adults.”

The theater was hit in an Israeli drone missile strike during an incursion into the camp in July. A child was injured in the strike.

The Israeli military bulldozed roads and a memorial for Palestinians killed in the camp near the theater’s entrance during the raid. The Israeli military killed 13 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier was mistakenly killed by fellow troops during the two-day-long raid.

On Monday, Volker Türk, the UN’s human rights chief, said that he was “profoundly shocked by the escalating violence” in the West Bank “as more Palestinians and Israelis – including children – continue to be killed and seriously injured.”

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada