Israeli Troops Murder a Youth in Beit Liqia...Just Because

BEIT LIQIA, PALESTINE. October 16, 2014.
Juliana Hamada

Too young to die…at 13 years old, Bha' Samir Badr, had not begun to taste the sweetness of life…and he didn't know he would never get that chance.

Thursday evening, October 16th, was cool, with a light breeze coming in from the west, refreshing to the hundreds of people filling the streets to shop, and just relax with their friends and families. Being Thursday, the eve of the holy day of the week, as usual crowds filled the streets.

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According to Jamila Assi, 22, the overall air seemed festive, like a holiday; many families in a celebratory mood, the pressure valve release of the completed olive harvest laying lightly upon their shoulders.

Assi said Young Bha' had been playing soccer with his twin brother and their friends and started home just before 8 P.M. when the Israeli troops entered the street…shattering the happy mood of the people with their jeeps and trucks and troops with heavy boots and heavier guns…intruding on the peace of the village with deadly intention.

According to many eyewitnesses, the troops weren't looking for anyone special or searching for "terrorists." Their purpose? Apparent to everyone was to flex their muscles. Show those people who is boss. Prove that they can enter the village at any time and do whatever they want. Bully.

Well, with this mind-set, a confrontation is sure to develop. And it did.

Witnesses related that children set fire to an army truck and some threw rocks at the heavily armed and protected troops, and the troops fired back at them with volleys of CN teargas (it can be lethal in itself) and (the Israelis claim) rubber bullets and obviously, live fire. In addition to all this ordnance, the invading Israeli troops also fired many dozens of concussion grenades. Of course, the use of live fire is not allowed for "crowd control" under international law, and even under the guidelines of the Israeli army itself.

Assi asks, "Why then did the troops shoot directly into a group of young boys simply standing along the road side, and not participating in any harassment of the soldiers?"

Baha' was hit in the chest with one bullet that penetrated his right hand, hit him near the heart, exited from the left side and tore through his left upper arm. He died almost instantly. Medical attempts to save his life were to no avail.

This incident in Beit Liqia is one of several on the same day across Palestine's West Bank. There were several arrests following confrontations around the Haram al Sharif, the site of Al Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem. Soldiers attempted to prevent worshipers from entering the area. Soldiers also harassed and arrested several farmers and international volunteers harvesting olives near Jenin. Additionally, there were similar incidents in Hebron and Nablus and Bethlehem.

According to Assi, these incidents appear to be coordinated and purposeful. She said that most people believe the army's intention is to cause a response among the population that would lead to heavy assaults on the entire area of Palestine. The people fear an all-out invasion similar to the war on Gaza.

Israeli troops entered Beit Liqia, located in Ramallah District within spittin' distance of the apartheid wall (which is drawn in red on the map at bottom) and home to 7,247 residents as of 2007 (most recent census information available).

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