Do Palestinian children deserve death simply for throwing stones at Israeli occupiers?

By: Adam Robertson

Abir Aramin was with two of her friends in the Anata village when an Israeli border police vehicle drove past. As stones were being thrown in the direction of the police in protest against the illegal Wall Israel’s building near Anata, soldiers responded with tear-gas and stun-grenades that hit the ten year old girl in the head.

Abir was announced brain dead at the Haddasa Ein Karem hospital, and three days later she was announced “DEAD”.

An Israeli border police spokeswoman said that the border police “regret” the death of Abir.

The crime is not the first by Israeli forces in the area, there are many others, like those involving laborer Wahib al-Dik from the village of Al-Dik and the “horse boy,” Jamil Jabji, from the Askar refugee camp, who were also killed because of throwing stones.

At least 660 Palestinians have been killed over the past year by Israeli security forces, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, whereas only 23 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians during the same period.

The child was the daughter of a prominent Palestinian peace activist Bassam Aramin, a member of Combatants for Peace, the Israeli-Palestinian peace organization.

According to Avichai Sharon of Combatants for Peace and a friend of the family “The Israeli border police have been entering Anata frequently when students go and return from school for the last year and eight months.”

“This began with the construction of the Wall near Anata, supposedly in order to protect the construction workers from the students, but construction of the wall was completed over a month and a half ago”.

Hassan, a sixteen-year old student who saw the incident that led to Abir’s death and carried her back to the girl’s school, stated “the students of the girls school and the boys school had both just come out of an examination. A border police jeep approached the gathering of girls. The girls were afraid and started running away. The border police jeep followed them in the direction in which they were retreating. Abir was afraid and stood against one of the shops at the side of the road, I was standing near her. The border policeman shot through a special hole in the window of the jeep that was standing very close to us. Abir fell to the ground. I picked her up and took her to the girls school. I saw that she was bleeding from the head.”

The merciless killing of Abir was given the slightest coverage by most of the western media outlets; contrary to the wide coverage it received from the Palestinian press.

Ignoring such crime by the Israeli forces encourages them to carry on with their genocide of the Palestinian people.

But Abir’s father, a 38 years old man and father of six children, including his daughter who has just died, is determined not to stop his peace efforts.

Israel’s Haaretz reserved a space for remarks by Abir’s father, Mr Aramin, who spent seven years in Israeli prisons and is a native of the village of Seir near Hebron.

The Israeli paper quoted him as saying:

Last Tuesday I was still sleeping when Abir went to school. She had a math test. At 9:30 I went off toward Ramallah to work. Abir had told me a day before that she wanted to go to a girlfriend’s house to study, and I said to her: Oh no, you won’t. I’ll help you study.

“I was riding in a taxi, looking out for my daughters who were coming out of school. On the left I saw a Border Police jeep. I looked at them and thought: Why are they coming now? To abuse our children? Inshallah, nothing will happen. My daughters will only inhale gas. When I arrived at the Al-Ram intersection a teacher from the school called me and told me that Abir had fallen, and asked that her mother come to school to pick her up. I called home to tell her mother, and Arin, my older daughter, who is 12, was crying. I didn’t understand a thing. A neighbor took the phone and told me: The soldiers fired at your daughter’s head and she’s been wounded.

“I called the school and they told me they had taken her to Makassed Hospital [in East Jerusalem]. I immediately drove to Makassed, on the way I saw the Border Police jeep next to the local council building, but I thought that there was no time for speeches now. When I arrived at Makassed they told me that her condition was very critical. They told me she needed an operation. I was afraid and I told them that she had an Israeli ID and I wanted to take her to Hadassah Hospital. In order to speed things up I contacted the Peres Center for Peace, whose staff really helped me and sent a Magen David Adom ambulance and took her to Hadassah. There they decided that no operation was necessary. Thank God, I said to myself.

“At 7 P.M. her condition deteriorated; suddenly she needed an operation. We have to hope for a miracle, the doctors told me. I understood that my daughter needed a miracle and there are no miracles these days. I told myself that I didn’t want to take revenge. The revenge is that this ‘hero,’ whom my daughter endangered and shot at, be put on trial. Afterward she was officially declared dead.

“From what I was told I understood that the children threw stones and the Border Police threw a grenade at Abir’s head, from behind, from a distance of four meters. At first they said she had been wounded by a stone. I’m familiar with that game, but I didn’t believe that they would sink to such a despicable level – sorry for using that word – when they said on Channel 2 that Abir had been playing with something that exploded on her head. Her fingers were whole and her head exploded? They’re contemptible, I said. Liars. They send a boy of 18 with an M16 and tell him that our children are his enemies, and he knows that nobody will stand trial and therefore he shoots in cold blood and turns into a murderer.

“I’m not going to exploit the blood of my child for political purposes. This is a human outcry. I’m not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I’ve lost my heart, my child. I will continue to fight in order to protect her siblings and her classmates, her girlfriends, both Palestinians and Israelis. They are all our children.”

For how long will the Israeli genocide against Palestinians continue?

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