Condolences to the Shawamreh Family on the IDF’s Killing of Yusuf
ICAHD sends condolences to its field worker Salim Shawamreh and his family over the killing on Wednesday of his nephew Yusuf Abu-Akar Shawamreh, aged 15, by the IDF.
Like many rural Palestinian teens looking for who are neither study nor work in regular settings, Yusuf was out with a group of friends picking gundelia, a spiny, thistle-like flowering plant used in cooking and for medicinal purposes, which sprouts in February and March and could be sold on the market. The IDF claimed that Yusuf and his friends were trying to sabotage the separation barrier, though no cutting tools were found on the site. He was shot four times in the back. Two of his friends, one a boy of 12, were arrested, together with an elderly man out picking almonds. The IDF brought Yusuf to a hospital in Beer Sheva, where he died of his wounds. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Deir Al-Asal in the South Hebron Hills.
Needless to say, no Israeli soldier was or ever will be convicted of the killing. Just three weeks ago, on February 27, Amnesty International issued a report on IDF violence towards Palestinians: Trigger Happy: Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank. It documents the killing of 45 Palestinians and wounding of thousands “who did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life” over the past three years. It concludes that the IDF shows a “callous disregard for human life,” and calls on the international community to cease shipments of weapons and cooperation until Israel complies with international law. As it stands, Palestinians are fair game. The week before Yusuf’s murder the IDF killed six Palestinians in one 24-hour period.
ICAHD extends its condolences to Yusuf’s family and to Salim, and calls for an international inquiry into unrestrained IDF and settler violence against Palestinians who, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, enjoy the status of Protected Persons.