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April 28, 2023

Updated: Sep 27

Mustafa Amer Sabah مصطفى عامر صباح.

15-years old, from Tuqu’.

Design: Lahav Halevy

Munira and Amer had 11 children. 6 of them died as infants, having suffered disabilities and disease, most of them from cerebral palsy. In late April 2023, their eldest son was arrested for throwing stones, while their 6-months-old baby was suffering from cerebral palsy. Mustafa was the promise of the family – 15-year-old, a 9th grade pupil, aspiring to finish high school and continue his academic studies or become a police officer. He loved football and swimming. A sporty type. A healthy body in a family so often accompanied by death.

Mustafa confronted Israeli soldiers several times, was arrested twice for throwing stones and for having a rifle carved in wood. Both these times he was beaten and released without being actually accused of anything, always thrown somewhere far from home. Every time he was beaten, his frustration and anger grew.

Late April. Two of the three entrances into Tuqu’a have been blocked for days. Mustafa goes to pray with his dad. The father (who drives a taxi on the Bethlehem-Tuqu’a line) continues with the mother to a medical checkup of their baby. Mustafa stays home to watch over his sister and work in the garden. The father returns, the mother stays with her parents.

At the same time, around 2 p.m., 6 Israeli soldiers came to Khirbet Tuqu’a, a site frequented by Palestinians seeking recreation. It is unclear what the soldiers were doing there. This is no army outpost or a place where soldiers are habitually seen. A group of youngsters and boys gathers and throws stones at the soldiers. They do this at a distance of about 200 meters, posing no real threat to the soldiers. These respond with alternate live fire. Thus, things proceed for about half an hour.

Mustafa joins the group after a while, with another minor who regularly documents these incidents. Mustafa picks up 3 stones and they get closer to the soldiers. The boys shout at him to watch out, not to expose himself. He continues. From about 50 meters he throws stones while 6 bullets are fired at him. Two of them hit him (dumdum bullets whose structure enables the explosion to break up into various points of the body). He falls on his face. The soldiers persist and wound another boy in the knee. The boys shout to the soldiers to stop because someone has been hit. They finally cease their fire. Mustafa is taken to the clinic but he has already died.

Munira sees on social media that someone has been wounded. He comes out, shaken, and receives the bitter news, that for the seventh time death has taken one of her children. Mustafa believed in resistance, in freedom, he wanted to live. Until two Dumdum bullets penetrated his chest.


Sources: Haaretz (Gideon Levy), B’Tselem.

Poser design: Lahav Halevy.

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