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Gunshot victims abandoned by the state

On January 1, 2021, Haroun Abu Aram tried to prevent military forces from confiscating his neighbor’s generator. Haroun was shot in the neck. On February 14, 2023, he passed away. Haroun lived in the village Al-Rakeez in the South Hebron Hills.

The Israeli Occupation Authorities do not allow Palestinian villages to connect to the electrical grid. Therefore, generators are required for everyday life. The videos taken during the shooting show Haroun was holding the generator, but without taking any violent action. Despite this, one of the soldiers fired his gun from a short range, hitting Haroun's neck and causing him tetraplegia – an inability to voluntarily move body parts accompanied by enormous pain.

The State of Israel has abandoned Haroun. Medical treatment and rehabilitation in Israel were made possible only through private donations and only for a limited time. After a while, Haroun returned to his village to live in a cave that served as his family's home. Haroun survived two years of severe suffering. During this period, one of his legs was amputated due to pressure sores. His mother and other family members took care of him 24 hours a day, and suffered livelihood loss.

The confiscation of the generator was carried out to prevent the Palestinians from improving their living conditions in their caves. Haroun resisted without violence; he did not commit any crime. The shooting was a disproportionate response. The least that the Israeli authorities could do, after the unjustified shooting, was to provide Haroun with necessary medical treatment and suitable living conditions for him and his family. And yet, the state offered no compensation.

On the evening of March 13, 2023, Rami Hamouda left his home in Shua'fat Refugee Camp, and drove his car to buy crayons for his daughter's drawing class. A large military and police force was present in the camp at the time due to an attack that happened that morning. Hamouda was driving on the narrow dark main road. According to testimonies given by those present at the scene, a barrage of bullets was suddenly fired at his car from a close range. Three bullets hit him in the stomach and one in the leg. He was taken by a passing car driver to the camp clinic, and he was sure his death was imminent. From there, an ambulance took Haroun, accompanied by his father, to the hospital. On the way, the police stopped the ambulance. After a policeman handcuffed Hamouda's and his father’s hands and feet, they were subjected to violence and humiliation by police officers at the entrance to the hospital. Hamouda was kept in detention for a month and underwent several operations in which internal organs were removed. The incident is still under investigation. On March 7th 2023, he was released to house arrest on bail of 10,000 shekels, with 1,000 shekels on deposit. Even though there are no charges against him, the disability allowance he was receiving for his diabetes was stopped. Hamouda is staying at home in very poor mental and physical health. No Israeli official claims responsibility for the harm unjustly inflicted upon Hamouda.

Hamouda is a resident of Jerusalem and therefore has rights to an allowance and medical treatment that Haroun did not have. He and his family members are considered suspects by the Israeli authorities.

These two cases, and many others, reflect the way Israeli authorities act towards Palestinians. Nonviolent resistance for demanding basic human rights, or suspicion unsupported by facts, enable disproportionate violent responses from the military forces. Since no Israeli official is prosecuted and no one is being held accountable for unjustified aggression against Palestinians, events like these two cases are on the rise.

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