Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

Unity against military violence

More cohesion, greater awareness and an increased fight for justice was the response from the youths of the refugee camp where Israeli soldiers shot and killed an 19 year old boy.


Jihad al-Jafari was only 19 years old. Night to Wednesday 25. February he was shot and killed during a night raid in the Ad Duesha refugee camp outside Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. "Since Jihad was killed, we have had a completely different atmosphere in the camp. Before that happened, the unity between the young people was not so strong. I think the incident reminded us how important it is that we stick together and that we never give up the fight for our rights. We meet more often in the evenings, and we talk more together, "says Rigad (19) when Ny Tid meets him in the refugee camp a little over a week after the murder. Rigad was a neighbor and friend of Jihad, whom he had known throughout his upbringing. He himself was in the house next door and watched the soldiers enter the camp when Jihad was shot. "I woke up to the sound of soldiers storming the camp. I could not sleep anymore, and got up to see what happened. The soldiers stormed in, knocked on doors, and fired tear gas, "says Rigad. According to him, the soldiers came to the camp to arrest another young man, suspected of throwing stones. Jihad was staying on the roof of his home just off the road outside the camp, along with a younger cousin, as the soldiers broke into the camp. It was around two o'clock at night. The soldiers are said to have entered homes, fired tear gas, and thrown sound grenades in search of the suspect. According to witnesses, one of the soldiers was hit by a Molotov cocktail further inside the camp. There must have been panic among the soldiers. According to witnesses, one of them must have spotted the nineteen-year-old who observed them from the porch. He shot, and hit. "All of a sudden, the soldiers turned and ran out of the camp. Shortly afterwards, we heard a woman screaming for an ambulance. At first I thought that someone had received too much tear gas and needed medical help. But then I saw that they carried Jihad down from the roof, "says Rigad. The 19-year-old boy had been hit in the shoulder by an M16 bullet. While the camp was being emptied of soldiers, the family called for an ambulance, but according to witnesses, the soldiers who were left outside the camp tried to prevent the ambulance from arriving. "I was with the ambulance to the hospital. Everyone involved realized that Jihad was not alive, but no one could think the thought. We hoped for the longest time, "says Rigad. When they arrived at the hospital, Jihad was pronounced dead. The autopsy report, which was available the same day, showed that the bullet that hit the 19-year-old in the shoulder injured one lung. The 19-year-old died of internal bleeding. "It took a whole hour from the time we received the message until we were able to tell his parents," says Rigad. This is not the first time the camp has lost one of its youths as a result of Israeli military violence. Most recently in 2008, 17-year-old Qusay was killed during a demonstration in Bethlehem. In December, 17-year-old Imam Ahmed Dweikat from the town of Beita outside Nablus was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. On Wednesday this week, 17-year-old Ali Safi from Ramallah is also said to have died after being shot in the chest during a demonstration in the city. According to figures from the Israeli human rights organization Bet Selem, a total of 46 Palestinians in the West Bank were killed by Israeli security forces in 2014, compared to 28 in 2013.

"I was with the ambulance to the hospital. Everyone involved realized that Jihad was not alive, but no one could think the thought. We hoped for the longest. "

“Jihad did not die in vain. For us, the incident is a reminder that we must stand together in the fight against the Israeli occupation. The assassination of Jihad gives us new courage to stay in Palestine, and not to give up fighting for the freedom we are entitled to, Rigad concludes.

You may also like