Middle East

Disabled Palestinian man killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza

Ibrahim said he would continue to resist despite his disability and regularly attend protests on the Gaza buffer zone (Reuters)

Tributes poured online for 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a Palestinian man killed on the Gaza border during clashes with Israeli soldiers on Friday.

He died instantly after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier as clashes turned violent on the Gaza buffer zone.

Famed for regularly attending protests on the Gaza Strip, Thuraya came to prominence after losing both his legs and one eye during Operation Cast-Lead, when Israeli forces killed 1,400 people in 22 days.

He was known for climbing up electricity poles and holding up Palestinian flags during protests. Ibrahim would describe his actions as "resisting despite his disability".

Two days before his death, activists filmed Ibrahim walking on the buffer zone without his wheelchair.

In the video, he called on his fellow Palestinians to join the call to demand America "withdraw" its declaration to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

"This land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it's made," said Ibrahim.

"The most important thing is we are coming here to pass a message on to the Zionist occupation army that the Palestinian people are a strong people."

Thousands are expected to attend his funeral on Saturday to remember the long-time activist who would often be seen leading chants and waving a Palestinian flag.

His body was pictured wrapped in a white Islamic shroud after it was washed in preparation for his funeral.

He leaves behind 11 family members who relied on him to survive.

Before losing both his legs, he was a proud fisherman who would take his small boat to fish the waters near his home.

But after losing both his legs, Thuraya supported his family by washing cars in Gaza.

His day would begin at 7am where he would gather his supplies, tie his bucket to an old wheelchair and start his journey wheeling himself around Gaza looking for work.

Ibrahim would then join a queue for water and find a car to wash.

After wiping the rims, the sides and cleaning inside the wheel, he would then use his hands to hoist himself onto the boot of the car and work his way to the top of the vehicle.

Speaking about his disability, he told Irish Palestinian activists that he would refuse to take money from car owners without him doing a job.

"I'm not a hobo or a beggar. I can work and make my living," said Thuraya.

"Please never look at my disabled body. Look at the great job I'm doing. It's not the end of the world and life should go on. "

Ibrahim lived in a crowded refugee camp with his family.

Original Article

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