Palestinian teenager dreamt of being a chef earlier than assault, academics say


Israel says 13-year-old opened fireplace in Jerusalem assault


Mother and father deny son carried out assault, lawyer says


Lecturers say he was working arduous, grades have been enhancing


Israel ordered household house demolished years in the past


Palestinian-Israeli tensions, bloodshed surged just lately

By Henriette Chacar

JERUSALEM, Feb 3 (Reuters) – In the midst of final week, 13-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Aleiwat was urgent his academics for the college report he wanted so he may go to a Jerusalem faculty to coach as a chef.

Three days later, he was mendacity unconscious in hospital accused of opening fireplace at a bunch of Israeli passers-by in Jerusalem’s Silwan district.

Two folks have been critically wounded and Aleiwat was shot and wounded by one of many group. Police haven’t publicly named a suspect however his lawyer stated they accuse Aleiwat of opening fireplace and tried homicide, accusations his household rejects.

Police, who known as the capturing a terrorist assault, have stated it was carried out by a 13-year-old, prompting widespread shock and underlining fears of so-called “lone wolf” assaults by people with no hyperlinks to political or militant teams.

Individuals who knew Aleiwat are puzzled about what may have prompted him to hold out such an act.

Though he grew up in Silwan, a cauldron of Palestinian-Israeli tensions close to Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, Aleiwat had not proven an curiosity in politics, academics, family members, and youngsters from his space instructed Reuters.

They described a preferred teenager with a powerful character, a ardour for soccer and an ambition to be a chef.

“He was making a visual effort. Because the starting of this time period, he has aced three of his courses: social research, arithmetic and faith. That is why (the information) was so surprising for us,” stated Souhair Mikkawi, 57, his faculty principal.

She stated days earlier than the incident he had been pushing for his report so he may switch to school, telling her: “Miss, please, I will not go house till I get my report card. If I miss the applying deadline, I will be devastated.”

The Jan. 28 assault in Silwan is a part of a current surge of violence in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.

The night time earlier than, a Palestinian gunman killed seven folks close to a synagogue in part of Jerusalem annexed by Israel after the 1967 battle. Yesterday, an Israeli raid within the West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin killed 10 Palestinians together with eight gunmen, the most important single-day loss of life toll in what Palestinian officers had already declared as a bloody month.


The lawyer Mahmoud stated the dad and mom and two brothers have been detained after the assault. The dad and mom and one of many brothers have been subsequently launched after questioning. The dad and mom have been barred from chatting with the media for 30 days, Mahmoud stated.

“He didn’t perform the assault,” Mahmoud stated. “The household says that he occurred to be there and was shot at.”

An Israeli police spokesperson stated an investigation was ongoing, declining to offer particulars.

Footage on social media seems to indicate an individual firing a pistol at a bunch strolling alongside a road earlier than no less than one fires again, apparently hitting the shooter. Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the video.

Silwan, the place the incident occurred, has lengthy been a web site of pressure between Israelis and Palestinians. It lies within the shadow of Jerusalem’s walled Previous Metropolis, which was captured by Israel in 1967 and annexed with different elements of East Jerusalem – a transfer not recognised internationally.

Israel deems the entire metropolis its “everlasting and indivisible” capital. Palestinians need East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state made up of the West Financial institution and Gaza.

Many Jews consider the traditional Metropolis of David stood on the positioning of Silwan and Jewish settlers have purchased properties there, which Palestinians see as a part of a coverage to drive them out.

About 600 settlers now dwell amongst 50,000 Palestinians in Silwan, in line with Aviv Tatarsky at Ir Amim, an Israeli organisation that displays Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

Violence had flared in Silwan a number of days earlier than the Jan. 28 incident, when Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, a 17-year-old Palestinian who lived on Aleiwat’s road, was wounded throughout clashes with Israeli safety forces. He later died.

Israeli police stated explosives and fireworks had been hurled at police throughout rioting and an officer who sensed his life was at risk fired at and wounded two suspects. It stated the suspects, who weren’t named, have been discovered to have a flag of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza.


Abu Ramuz’s mom, Hadeel, stated her son didn’t take part in clashes however was shot when making an attempt to pull a wounded buddy to security. She stated three Palestinians have been wounded.

Posters of Abu Ramuz with the brand of Fatah, the dominant Palestinian faction within the West Financial institution, have been plastered to partitions in Silwan when Reuters visited the neighbourhood this week.

Zaki Abbasi, Aleiwat’s uncle, stated he didn’t assume his nephew knew Abu Ramuz effectively, noting their age distinction.

Abbasi stated the household had no hyperlinks to Palestinian political actions and had not been on the lookout for hassle, saying Aleiwat’s older brother was getting ready to get married.

After the Jan. 28 assault, Israeli forces took management of Aleiwat’s household house and the federal government ordered it sealed. It marked a change of coverage as Israel often solely orders such motion after deadly assaults.

“I am unable to consider that is taking place,” Abbasi stated about Aleiwat. “Younger folks see issues on social media. Nobody is aware of what might have gotten to him.”

Abbasi’s two sons, near Aleiwat’s age, described their cousin as compassionate and stated he performed soccer after faculty most days, usually taking a lead in organising groups.

Abbasi and different family members stated Aleiwat’s household had for years feared their house can be demolished as a result of it was constructed with out the required Israeli permissions.

A Jerusalem municipality spokesperson stated a demolition order was issued about 20 years in the past over “constructing violations”.

Final yr, 10 homes in Silwan have been demolished for unlawful development, the spokesperson stated, including demolition orders have been usually enforced throughout the town in keeping with the legislation and in coordination with police.

The Israeli group Ir Amim says 24 Palestinian buildings have been demolished in Silwan in 2022, whereas rights teams say constructing permits are nearly unimaginable for Palestinians to safe in East Jerusalem.

Aleiwat’s father, who works in a lodge washing dishes as certainly one of two jobs he has to make ends meet, didn’t touch upon politics to colleagues, stated Mahmoud Mir’i, the lodge head chef.

The administrator at Aleiwat’s faculty, Hayat al-Husseini, stated the 13-year-old’s ardour was soccer.

“‘I wish to be like Messi’, he would say. That is what he cared about. What occurred, what went on in his head, we do not know.”

(Writing by Henriette Chacar and Tom Perry; Enhancing by Edmund Blair)

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