Photo of the Week: The first of many angels to go

Photo credit: Alaa Badameh
Date taken: July 1, 2014
Location: Jenin Refugee Camp, West Bank, Palestine

Relatives grieve as Yousef Abu Zagha, 16, is prepared for his funeral in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Israeli military shot and killed him exactly one year ago during heavy crackdowns following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli settler youth who were kidnapped in the West Bank.

Yousef was shot dead as he carried eggs to his home late one evening, although the Israeli military falsely claimed initially that he was lobbing grenades. His death came one day after the three settlers had been buried and one day before Mohammed Abu Khdeir, another 16-year-old, was kidnapped, beaten, and burnt alive by Israeli settlers.

Israel accused Hamas of ordering the kidnapping of the three Israeli settlers and somehow precipitating Yousef’s murder but this was later discovered to be untrue. As it turns out, however, the false accusation had already served its purpose: acting as a pretext for violent crackdowns in the West Bank and a major military offensive in the Gaza Strip. By day twenty-two of the assault, at least 1,095 Palestinians had been killed, with many hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods destroyed. By the 51st and final day, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, 11,000 wounded, and more than 500,000 internally displaced.

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