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16 year old Sameer Awad killed by Israeli military in Budrus

Published on 17 January 2013, by M. Tomazy.
By Adam Whittock | 
Sixteen year old Sameer Awad was shot three times, in the head, neck and chest by Israeli soldiers on January 15th, late Tuesday morning. He later died of his wounds in a hospital in Ramallah.

According to a statement release by the Israeli military, he attempted to cross the security fence into Israel after an exam in his local school. He was with his brother, Jamil Awad, and at least one other friend.

Reports indicated that he was approached and then grabbed by two Israel soldiers. He wrestled away and the soldiers made no attempt to grab him again. Instead they shot him from a distance of around 3 metres.

Other sources, including a statement released by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee confirm that the boy was walking away from the soldiers was he was shot. However they state it was as far away as 100 metres.

Regardless of what happened, it is clear Sameer was unarmed and posed no threat to the Israeli soldiers.

His brother, who was with him at the time, explains, “When I tried to leave, I saw his body was surrounded by seven Israeli soldiers. It was then that I saw the shots in his head and chest.”

“I pleaded with the soldiers to lift his body to safety and to help him, but they said if I went off they would shoot me too.”

Regardless, he and his friend lifted his brother, still worried that they might be shot, and carried him to relative safety.

“As I carried him, I knew I could get shot, but I couldn’t stop,” Jamil stated.

An ambulance took his body from Ramallah Hospital back to Budrus where a procession and funeral took place.

Sameer is the fifth Palestinian to be killed by the Israelis since the start of 2013.

His father, Ahmed Awad, was so grief-stricken could barely talk. “I am so sad, so sad. He was my son and he didn’t deserve this.”

Ayed Morrar, the man responsible for galvanizing popular protests in the village against the Apartheid Wall in 2003, attended the funeral. “It is a sad day for the people of Budrus,” he stated.

A small but passionate demonstration was then held in Sameer’s honour, in front of the Israeli guards at the fence. Larger demonstrations are rumoured to take place in the village and throughout the West Bank this Friday.

On Saturday a similar incident took place when a Palestinian man, 21 year old Odai Darawish, was shot and killed attempting to enter Israel from the South Hebron Hills.

Three Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army in Gaza in the past week. including 21 year old farmer Mustafa Abu Jarad. The shooting and killing of all five Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza highlights the lack of restraint and the increased devastating use of live ammunition by the Israeli military when dealing with Palestinian civilians.
(The Palestine Monitor)