Abu Khalaf, a resident of the village of Kafr Aqab in central Jerusalem, was shot dead on Feb.19 after he stabbed and wounded two Israeli border police officers outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate.
“We have awaited the body of my son for 200 days, and they were very difficult days,” Abu Khalaf’s bereaved mother Rula told Ma’an.
“Today, the pain from the unhealed wound was renewed when we received his body and buried it.”
She expressed her “thankfulness to God” that her son was finally buried “in the soil of the holy Jerusalem.”
Israeli authorities delivered Abu Khalaf’s body to his family after midnight at the al-Mujahidin cemetery, located just outside the walls of the Old City.
Abu Khalaf’s body was returned and buried in accordance with conditions imposed by Israeli authorities, which has allowed the release of bodies of slain Palestinians from East Jerusalem only on the conditions that their families bury them in cemeteries chosen by the police in the presence of a maximum of 25 family members.
Like other families of slain Jerusalemites accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis, the Abu Khalaf family was required to pay a 20,000 shekel ($5,292) “insurance fee” to make sure they abide by the rules.
Contrary to other cases of bodies being returned to their families completely frozen, Abu Khalaf’s mother expressed some relief, saying her son’s body looked and felt more natural.
Immediately after the funeral, the teenager’s mother rushed to the outer wall of the Damascus Gate where her son was killed, and recited verses from the Quran and other prayers for his deceased soul.
At the time of Abu Khalaf’s death, an Al Jazeera television crew happened to be filming outside the Damascus Gate, and managed to film the moments immediately after the teen carried out the stabbing attack.
Video of the scene shows Israeli forces firing dozens of bullets at the teenager, even after he had fallen to the ground, immobilized.
Members of the Al Jazeera crew told Ma’an at the time that six Israeli officers on site surrounded the Palestinian teen after he fell and “fired almost 50 bullets.”