Palestinian citizens of Israel are mourning the killing of Muhammad Mahmoud Kiwan by Israeli police. The 17-year-old high school student from Umm Al-Fahm in northern Israel was pronounced dead yesterday after being shot last week.
Muhammad participated in a peaceful protest with other Palestinian youths on 12 May against the Israeli evictions of families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem. The protesters were confronted by the police, and the Palestinian boy was shot in the head.
His family explained that he was admitted to Rambam Hospital in Haifa and remained in a coma until his health deteriorated on Tuesday evening. The teenager was pronounced dead by doctors on Wednesday morning.
“Heroes of Umm Al-Fahm said goodbye to one of her sons and our steadfast people, and his memories and dreams will remain present in our city’s memory, forever,” wrote parliamentarian Yousef Jabareen on Facebook earlier today. “Our hearts are with the family of the martyr, with our people in Umm Al-Fahm and Wadi Aara, and with all our heroic people, and we will make every effort to pursue those responsible for this crime, locally and internationally.”
The Knesset Member (MK) added that Muhammad’s memory will “remain forever” in the hearts of his family, friends, countrymen and people. “We cry today and bid farewell to a promising young boy and his dreams; the oppressors took away the right to life.”
In an unprecedented move highlighting the widespread worries amongst Palestinian citizens — the so-called “Arab Israelis” — the High Follow Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel called on the international community for protection earlier in the week. The umbrella organisation is made up of Arab MKs and mayors, as well as leaders of community movements and NGOs. It is the highest political body representing Palestinian citizens of Israel at the national level.
Signalling that the international community is taking mob violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel seriously, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed her “particular” concern that the Israeli police “have failed to intervene when the Palestinian citizens of Israel were subjected to violent assaults.”