The household assembly space subsequent to the neuro-intensive care unit on the 12th flooring of the trendy tower at Hadassah College Hospital, Ein Karem, Jerusalem. This can be a huge house with a excessive ceiling, stone-faced partitions and movie home windows overlooking a wooded Jerusalem panorama; bronze sculptures, the reward of donors from America, adorn the house. A metallic plaque proclaims the corridor as being devoted to “kids who prepared the ground to a kinder path.”
Sitting on the far finish of the room – abandoned on a day this week – on a wood bench donated by the Pittsburgh Jewish group, with a Muslim prayer rug at his ft, is a person in a grey sweat go well with, his face crestfallen, his coronary heart damaged. Mohand Shatawi sits alone right here. Not far-off, behind the automated doorways resulting in the warfare, in one of many spacious and well-equipped rooms, physicians are preventing to save lots of the lifetime of his 14-year-old son, Mohammed. The youth’s head is bandaged, his chest rises and falls on the tempo of the mechanical ventilator; he’s hooked as much as numberless tubes and a sea of displays report on his situation. Mohammed is a vegetable. He’s been like this ever since an Israel Protection Forces soldier fired a bullet into his head, final week.
Despair, ache, agony are etched on Mohand’s face, whose aloneness is heightened by the cavernous house round him. Nobody else from his village of Qaddum, west of Nablus, has a allow that may enable them to affix him right here in his time of anguish. He’s been right here every week now, sleeping on the ground and praying for his son’s life. Really, he hardly sleeps. He buys no matter meager meals he can afford. As soon as every now and then, he enters the ward to take a look at his son. It’s a brutal sight. For our half, we’ve by no means seen so many tubes and displays hooked as much as a boy.
Mohand, 48, is a taxi driver. Every day at three A.M., he leaves his home in Qaddum to drive native staff to the Eyal checkpoint, on their solution to jobs in Israel. For the remainder of the day, till the night, he plies the Ramallah-Qalqilyah route. Day in and time out, he gives this fashion for his spouse, their 4 sons and two daughters. Now Mohammed is hovering between life and loss of life. In a break up second final Thursday, after the full of life boy who acquired again from faculty and went outdoors to play together with his buddies, in keeping with their testimony, had a shot fired at his head the pinnacle, and have become a affected person mendacity in a vegetative state within the neuro-intensive care unit of Hadassah.
Qaddum is among the final villages of wrestle and resistance that haven’t but backed down. The wrestle right here is over the principle entry highway to the village, which has for years been fully blocked due to the settlement of Kedumim that was constructed at its edge. Each weekend, a bunch of villagers, along with an ever-dwindling variety of Israeli and international activists, place themselves on the forbidden highway, which is affected by stones, shell casings and scorched tires, after years of protest. The troopers lie in anticipate them between the olive timber, hearth tear-gas canisters at them and chase them into the village. Sometimes they shoot. Typically with reside ammunition. There are frequent accidents and fatalities.
We have been in Qaddum final July, after soldiers shot Abd el-Rahman Shatawi in the head with live ammunition through the weekly demonstration there. A 10-year-old boy who appears even smaller than his age now, he was standing innocently on the entrance to the house of a buddy within the village, when troopers took purpose from a distance and shot him within the head. From Qaddum we drove to Safra Youngsters’s Hospital, at Sheba Medical Middle, Tel Hashomer, and entered room 9 of the youngsters’s intensive care unit. The unit’s director, Prof. Gidi Paret, advised us on the time that there was hope for the boy. His father, Yasser, didn’t depart his son’s bedside for weeks. Abd el-Rahman too is in a vegetative state at this time, in a rehabilitative hospital in Beit Jalla, adjoining to Bethlehem, fully paralyzed and unable to talk. Each Thursday, his father involves take him residence within the automobile, putting him on the again seat, bringing him again on Sunday. A weekend at residence.
Abd el-Rahman is from Mohammed’s household, they’re each from the identical village, within the phrases of the long-lasting Hebrew tune.
This week we went to Qaddum once more, and from there to the IC ward, this time in Hadassah. The circumstances are horrifyingly comparable: In every case a toddler was shot within the head, with appalling outcomes. Final summer time it was a reside spherical, this winter it was a rubber-coated metallic bullet that slammed right into a boy’s head and wrought devastation. That’s what occurs when no soldier is ever punished.
On the second flooring of one of many first homes within the village, a bunch of males is sitting idly. They’re kin of the daddy and his wounded son, who at the moment are removed from right here. After a short while, Qusay Shatawi, who’s 13 and was an eyewitness to the occasion, arrives. A 12 months youthful than Mohammed, within the eighth grade, he was with Mohammed final Thursday when the soldier shot him. The boy remains to be clearly traumatized: His legs transfer ceaselessly back and forth in agitation, his face is pale, he speaks in a whisper, he appears frightened as he tries to reconstruct what occurred.
College ended round midday, they usually went residence. They’d organized to go at about 2 o’clock to a constructing on the fringe of the village that belongs to the native council and is used as a form of group middle, the place the youngsters play within the yard. The children go there each Thursday afternoon. Muayad Shatawi, an older man, and our escort by the streets of the village, stops just a few kids and asks the place they go on Thursdays. To the muntazah, they reply – to the playground. It was a sunny day, Qusay says, they usually needed to get a tan. After hanging round within the yard for a time they determined to go residence. There have been simply 4 of them, aged 13 and 14. The world was quiet, Qusay recollects.
One has to query his account, nevertheless. The IDF Spokesperson says that some 40 youths confirmed up, and that they have been burning tires. These have been the times instantly following the publication of President Trump’s “deal of the century.”
As they made their means up towards the village, they observed troopers standing on the ridge of the hill that overlooks the highway. This isn’t the battleground highway, which is beneath, within the valley, but it surely, too, is roofed with stones and rocks, additionally shell casings, together with reside rounds, testifying to the demonstrations which are held right here as properly. We walked on the highway with Qusay. It was his first time right here since Thursday.
Under within the valley is the constructing with the yard the place they’d been, and right here, above us, is the place the troopers have been ready. With a slope this steep, the troopers on prime of the hill and the youngsters beneath them, there isn’t a means the youngsters may have posed any kind of menace to the troops. It’s unimaginable to throw stones upward, to such a steep top. So right here, within the shade of the boulder by the roadside, subsequent to the village’s water reservoir, says Qusay, the youngsters thought they have been sheltered.
It was after three o’clock. A couple of minutes later, Mohammed stood as much as verify whether or not the troopers have been nonetheless on the hilltop. The second he raised his head, Qusay heard two pictures. One missed, however the second struck Mohammed on the proper facet of the pinnacle. He fell to the bottom, bleeding. The three different boys picked him up and ran with him towards the village down the highway. Within the meantime, village residents who heard the pictures started arriving.
Muayad Shatiwi, who has grandchildren Mohammed’s age, was first on the scene. He relates that he noticed the boys carrying their wounded buddy, took him from them and positioned him in his automobile, which was dropped at the positioning. They tried to get him to a hospital in Nablus, however the highway was blocked due to an accident. They needed to flip round and return, all of the whereas with the boy mendacity on the again seat. Now their plan was to get to the hospital in Qalqilyah, to the east of the village. Subsequent to the Karnei Shomron settlement they have been stopped by a police automobile. They confirmed the cops the bleeding boy, however they delayed them, Muayad says. By his reckoning, they misplaced about half an hour. Within the meantime, a Palestinian ambulance they’d known as arrived. Mohammed was transferred to the ambulance and brought to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.
On the identical time, Mohammed’s grandfather known as the boy’s father, who was in Ramallah together with his taxi, and advised him his son had been frivolously injured. Mohand hurried to the hospital in Nablus, the place he discovered that his son’s situation was severe to vital. At 9 P.M., it was determined to switch him to Hadassah. Mohand was allowed to accompany his son within the ambulance.
In response to a request for remark, the IDF Spokesperson Unit’s made this assertion to Haaretz: “A number of days in the past, a violent disturbance developed wherein about 40 Palestinians took half in Kafr Qaddum, which is within the space of the Shomron territorial brigade. In the middle of the disturbance, tires have been burned and stones have been thrown at IDF forces on the website. IDF fighters responded with crowd management means. A declare a few Palestinian who was wounded by a rubber bullet is understood about.”
And within the household corridor, devoted to the youngsters who will lead us to a kinder path, sits Mohand Shatawi, praying for his son’s life.