‘They took everything from me’: Israel destroyed his house. A month later they shot and paralyzed his son.

PALESTINIANS GATHER AS ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH THE HOUSE OF RASMI ABU ARAM IN KHIRBER AR-RAKEEZ AND THE HOUSE OF HATEM MAKHAMRA IN KHIRBET AT-TUWANI, NOVEMBER 25, 2020. (PHOTO: MOSAB SHAWER/APA IMAGES)

When Israeli soldiers arrived to the tiny hamlet of Khirbet al-Rakeez in the southern Hebron hills on Friday morning, the Palestinian residents braced themselves for the next misfortune to face their small village.

Things like home demolitions, settler attacks, and land confiscation are nothing new to the residents of the hamlet and the surrounding villages. Rather, it’s an unfortunate reality of everyday life living under Israeli occupation.

In fact, in November, Israeli forces embarked on a demolition campaign in the village, destroying seven homes and structures belonging to the village’s residents. One of those residents was Rasmi Abu Aram.

So when Abu Aram saw Israeli soldiers and officials from the Civil Administration — the Israeli agency in charge of enforcing demolitions in the West Bank — arrive at his neighbors’ doorstep on Friday morning, he was filled with unease.

“The Israelis came to deliver a demolition notice to my neighbor, saying that his house was built ‘illegally’ without an Israeli permit,” Abu Aram told Mondoweiss, adding that order allegedly gave his neighbor 96 hours to evacuate the home.

Shortly after the Israeli authorities arrived, Abu Aram said, he began to hear the screams of his neighbor’s wife and children coming from their home, at which point Abu Aram ran out of his house to help them, along with his 24-year-old son Harun.

“The soldiers were pushing and shoving them, even the woman and the children, and were being really aggressive. Out of nowhere, the soldiers just started throwing belongings out of the house and confiscating things,” Abu Aram said, adding that according to the demolition order, the soldiers were not supposed to be evacuating the house at that time.

As the situation escalated, Rasmi and his son Harun started breaking up the neighbors and the soldiers, attempting to stop the soldiers from taking any more of the families’ belongings. That’s when one of the soldiers grabbed an electricity generator, and began dragging it towards the Israeli authorities’ vehicles.

“We immediately started trying to pull the generator back towards us, because this generator powers our home and our neighbor’s home,” Abu Aram said. “We need it to power our lights, refrigerators and appliances, and heaters now during the winter. We can’t live without it.”

That’s when Israeli soldiers shoved Abu Aram to the ground, he told Mondoweiss. “When my son Harun saw them push me to the ground he became enraged, and started yelling and pulling even harder on the generator to try and get it back from the soldiers,” he said.

In the midst of the chaos, captured in a video now circulated on news channels around the globe, one Israeli soldier can be seen lifting his rifle towards the group of unarmed Palestinians, including Rasmi and Harun Abu Aram, and firing his weapon.

A second of silence is followed by screams even more intense than before, as the group realizes that the young Harun had been shot in the neck and had collapsed to the ground.

“They just shot him out of nowhere. And for what? For a generator that means nothing to them?” Abu Aram asked, his voice shaking. “They shot him for no reason.”

‘On the brink of death’

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https://mondoweiss.net/2021/01/they-took-everything-from-me-israel-destroyed-his-house-a-month-later-they-shot-and-paralyzed-his-son/

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