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Riots Erupt in East Jerusalem After Death of Palestinian Teen

A father says Israeli forces fired a rubber bullet that hit his 16-year-old son in the head during a protest.
Photo by Mahmoud Illean/AP

Riots have resumed in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem following the death of a Palestinian teen wounded during clashes with Israeli soldiers last week, local media reported Sunday.

The father of 16-year-old Mohammed Sunokrot said that his son died in an Israeli hospital Sunday, a few days after he was shot in the head by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli forces during a demonstration on August 31.

The boy was pronounced brain dead by doctors on Thursday, Haaretz news agency reported.


PHOTOS: Palestinian riots in East Jerusalem following 16 y/o Arab boy dies following clashes last week — Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah)September 7, 2014

The protests and violence continued Saturday night when Palestinian protestors, some throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks, clashed with police in the primarily Arab communities of Abu Tor and A-Tur, according to the Jerusalem Post.

No serious injuries or arrests were reported by police.

Shopkeepers are reportedly shuttering stores on a main commercial street to protest the boy's death.

Merchants of Salah A Din street, E.Jerusalem closed the shops earlier to protest the martyrdom of Mohamad Sinokrot. — Talkoholic (@Talkoholic)September 7, 2014

The teen's uncle told Haaretz that his nephew was not even participating in the protests in late August, but merely passing by.

"He left home and was talking to his aunt on the phone, when suddenly he was shot at close range," Motabi Sunokrot said. "After he fell the soldiers went on beating him and wouldn't let anyone come near him to treat him."

Israeli authorities dispute the family's version of events. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Associated Press that Sunokrot was shot in the leg, rather than the head, by a paint-ball-like projectile as he was hurling rocks at police and soldiers.

The teen was injured when he fell and hit his head as he was fleeing, Jerusalem police told local media, adding they do not use rubber bullets.


Celebrations Begin as Hamas and Israel Reach Indefinite Ceasefire Agreement. Read more here.

The renewed demonstrations come less than two weeks after Israel and Hamas reached a permanent ceasefire agreement to end more than seven weeks of fighting that killed approximately 2,200 people, mostly Palestinian civilians.

Soon after the peace deal was reached, Hamas declared "victory" and Palestinian civilians began celebrating the end of the war.

On Sunday, tensions escalated within the Palestinian unity government after President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to break off the alliance with Hamas if the group fails to handover control of the Gaza strip, the Associated Press reported.

Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, and Abbas' Fatah movement formed the Palestinian unity government in June after reaching an agreement that the militants would return governing power to Abbas.

But even since the conclusion of the recent conflict with Israel, Hamas has yet to live up to that agreement.

"We will not accept having a partnership if their status in Gaza remains this way," Abbas said Saturday in Cairo, in comments reported by Egyptian state news agency MENA.

Video Shows Apartment Block Demolished as Israeli Airstrikes Resume. Read more here.

The latest war has ravaged the coastal enclave that is home to approximately 1.8 million. One estimate indicated it could take 20 years to reconstruct the damage wreaked on housing and infrastructure in the area — a conservative assessment based on the condition that building and other materials be allowed to freely enter Gaza, which would require a lift of the current Egyptian-Israeli imposed blockade.


The blockade will be among a list of unresolved issues that both parties will seek to hammer out in a renewed round of indirect peace talks for an extended ceasefire in coming weeks.

Hamas is seeking a full lift of the blockade. Israel fears materials trucked in across the border could be used to rebuild the underground tunnel network used by militants, and says border restrictions will remain in place until Hamas disarms its forces and relinquishes control of Gaza.

Israel and the West have also instructed Abbas' government to handle all funding and reconstruction efforts.

Gaza Reconstruction Will Take 20 Years, Says Post-Conflict Housing Group. Read more here.

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields