Slain Palestinian teenager was saving money for Mother's Day gift before being shot dead by Israel

Slain Palestinian teenager was saving money for Mother's Day gift before being shot dead by Israel
The mother of Yamen Jaffal, a slain Palestinian teenager, was saving up for Mother's Day before he was killed by Israeli forces.
3 min read
09 March, 2022
Yamen Jaffal, 16, was killed late on Sunday in the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis [Getty]

The mother of a slain Palestinian teenager said her son was saving up for a Mother's Day gift before he was killed by Israeli forces over the weekend.

Yamen Jaffal, 16, was shot dead late Sunday in Abu Dis, south of East Jerusalem, after reportedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers raiding the occupied town.

The Israeli army alleged that Yamen Jaffal was "throwing Molotov cocktails" at a military outpost in the occupied West Bank when he was shot.

"My son was a very affectionate boy. On the day he died, I dropped him off at school and he asked to kiss my hand but I was shy because it was in front of all of his classmates," Samira Al-Sayyad told The New Arab's Arabic-language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In Palestinian culture, hand-kissing is a gesture of such humility and respect that often, recipients of hand kisses feel too embarrassed to receive such a grand form of praise.

The teenager succumbed to his wounds while held in Israeli military custody with reports saying he received no medical attention for his injuries to his head and chest.

After initially refusing to do so, Israeli authorities eventually released his body with thousands of mourners attending his funeral. His mother was comforted by women singing the traditional song "Mother of a Martyr".

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She said he was diligently saving money in his piggy bank to buy her a Mother's Day gift.

"Today, he gave me the biggest gift," she said in reference to what she referred to as his martyrdom.

Jaffal's father, Nafez, deplored the Israeli occupation for killing Palestinians indiscriminately. 

"We are dealing with a baseless occupation that is built on lies and we are an occupied people who have the right to struggle. The strategy of the occupation is based on killing everything that is Palestinian, and it does not differentiate between a child, a woman, or a man," he told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"One of the sons of the Palestinian people was martyred and he gifted me with being the father of a martyr. I've always admired the bravery of families of martyrs, but today I became like them, the father of a martyr."

The Palestinian NGO, the National Campaign for Retrieval of the Bodies of Martyrs, said that Israel has now withheld the bodies of 95 Palestinians killed by its army and police, including 11 minors.

Jaffal was the second Palestinian teenager to be killed by Israeli forces in less than 24 hours.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli police shot dead 19-year-old Karim Qawasmi, after he allegedly attempted to stab two Israeli officers near Al-Aqsa compound in occupied East Jerusalem's old city.