Gaza teenager `shot dead` by Israelis returns home

Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 00:03

Gaza City: A Palestinian teenager who went
missing near the Gaza border last week and was believed to
have been killed by Israeli troops has returned home safe
after being detained in Egypt, he said Sunday.

Mohammed al-Faramawi, 15, said he had gone with some
friends to Gaza`s defunct airport near the borders with Israel
and Egypt last Monday "for fun" when they found a smuggling
tunnel to Egypt and crawled through it.

They were promptly arrested by Egyptian security forces
on the other side and held for several days.

"I didn`t know when they announced my death because I was
under arrest," Faramawi told a news agency. "I didn`t find out until I
returned on Saturday. When I arrived there were hundreds of
people there to welcome me home."

On Tuesday, the day after he disappeared, Palestinian
medics and media reported he had been shot dead by Israeli
forces near the border.

That same day, Israeli troops had fired on several groups
of demonstrators approaching the border to protest in honour
of "Land Day," an annual commemoration of six Israeli Arabs
killed by Israeli security forces during a 1976 protest
against land confiscations.

Several people were wounded in two separate protests,
according to local medics, who said Faramawi was shot shortly
before a similar demonstration near the southern town of
Rafah.

The Israeli military said it had fired warning shots but
denied hitting anyone.

Israeli forces frequently shoot at Palestinians
approaching the border of the Islamist Hamas-ruled territory,
from which militants have fired thousands of rockets at the
Jewish state in recent years.

Palestinian medics must coordinate with Israel before
they can safely enter the dangerous buffer zone to retrieve
bodies.

Last month two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian
militants were killed in fierce clashes along the heavily
guarded frontier, but the body of one of the Palestinians was
not recovered and identified until more than 24 hours later.

Zeidan al-Faramawi, 42, Mohammed`s father, was worried
sick when he heard his son was killed.

"When my son`s death was announced on the radio and on
television on Tuesday I immediately went to the hospital in
Rafah, but they didn`t have the body," he told AFP. "Every
time an ambulance arrived I ran to see if he was inside."

Over the next few days neighbours told the father of six
to let go and hold a funeral, while he frantically contacted
different hospitals and the Red Crescent Society for any
information.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 00:03

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