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March 16, 2023

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Omar Mohammad Awadin عمر محمد عوضين

14-years old, from Jenin.

Design: Lahav Halevy

Collateral damage – the cruel, inhuman depiction of the murder of a child in broad daylight. Without offering any help. Israel did not bother to publicize even a laundered version of his death.

Omar was the eldest son of his parents, Riham and Mohammad: “He brought much light into the world when he was born”, his father would say. The couple had two more daughters, one of whom died tragically in 2020.

Omar was a good pupil in his school at Hittin, even liked to study. He had a rolling laughter and a special sense of humor. He was mature for his age, with a well-developed sense for social justice. He dreamt of becoming a successful businessman, liked religious ritual, a month earlier he had made the pilgrimage to Mecca with his parents, and had begun to save money to buy decorations for their home for the oncoming Ramadan festivities. That day, his father had called him right after school, asking him to help with deliveries from his medical supply shop. Omar climbed on his bike and began the deliveries.

At 15:10 he finished his last delivery at a pharmacy on the main street. He called his father and told him he was headed for the shop. The father answered that he was on his way to the second branch they owned. Omar took off from the cinema to Abu Baker Street. On his way he passed his father who was in his car. They exchanged a few words, Omar asked for money but police driving behind the father’s car hurried the driver on his way. A minute later the father heard the shots. It was Thursday. A main street. Filled with traffic, shops crowded, many pedestrians on the street.

Two cars with Palestinian license plates stood there, containing undercover agents. They were passed by a father with a baby carriage. The agents immediately jumped out and opened fire on two wanted men: Yusuf Abu Shireen (a Hamas operative) and Nidal Hazen (an Islamic Jihad operative). 20 bullets. Abu Shireen begins to run. Several undercover agents fire at him and he falls to the ground. They shoot him at close range. Execution style.

During this shooting, Omar is hit in the back. They do not stop to help him and continue towards Hazem who is lying wounded on the ground, shooting him in the head, then get into their car and flee. In the confrontations that began, Luwai Al Surur was killed and 26 Palestinians were wounded, 5 of them in serious condition.

Omar lay on the ground. Still moving. A local shopkeeper ran to him: “I asked him what happened. ‘I fell’, he answered. I asked if he was hurt and he said no. But then he turned yellow. We turned him over and saw that he was hit in the back.” While they were trying to get him out, the undercover agents’ vehicle passed them by. Ambulances did not manage to arrive so he was evacuated in a private car. But Omar was already dead.

The worried father tried to call. No answer. He had a bad feeling. He heard the shots. Three minutes had passed since they last spoke. He called his brother who was close by, and the brother reported that Omar had been wounded. “I knew he was dead. I went into shock” the father said. “In the hospital Omar looked peaceful, even asleep. All I could hear was his laughter. The laugh of a boy who wanted to live, until the occupation bullets killed him and everything he had loved.” Ramadan to which he had so looked forward was noted by the family without him. Riham missed the days in which her son Omar helped her prepare the laden table.

Israel announced it had killed armed men. It did not respond to the claim that the two dead men were not armed. It never mentioned Omar’s death.

He is the 17th minor killed that year.


Sources: Washington Post, B’Tselem, P-DCI, Al Qastal.

Poster design: Lahav Halevy.

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