CADFA is a small organisation that sees a tiny part of the picture. But in this tiny part, so many tragedies. Over the nearly 18 years of CADFA (from end of 2003), we have become increasingly shocked by the killings, often of young people, and of course the effects on family after family left grieving and traumatised for ever. Our human rights reports are full of people shot and wounded – old friends may remember what happened to Hammam Mohsen (see For Hammam) and to Adam Johar and his cousin. Luckily both are better now – but we have learned that this shooting is frequent.
Time and again, in place after place in the West Bank, we have heard of people killed outside school, near settlements – and particularly at checkpoints. These are only some of them in Abu Dis: ALI AFANEH who was only 11 when he was shot during a school children’s protest against the building of Maale Adumim settlement in 1976 (which is by now huge on Abu Dis and Aizariyeh lands) (see our book Voices from Abu Dis). FADI BAHAR (aged 16) who was shot by a soldier on his way to get a drink in a break from football at Abu Dis Youth Club in 2004. SHEHADEH MOHSEN who was killed by soldiers at a checkpoint on his way to get hospital treatment for diabetes in 2006. Young NOOR AFANEH who was held up in an ambulance at a checkpoint and died while she waited in 2013 (she is probably not included in the figures below). MOHAMMED LAFEE who was shot on the public street near the military camp in Abu Dis by an Israeli soldier in 2017. AHMED ERIQAT was killed by an Israeli soldier at the Container Checkpoint a year ago and and was given no help and he bled to death. Following this tragedy, the Israeli army did not return his body and his family are still campaigning to be able to bury him. This picture is of four people from just one big family (Afaneh) who were killed in the past few years – Ali, Noor, Ahmed Afaneh mentioned above and Bilal who was killed when a huge number of Israeli soldiers invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque in 2000.
THE NUMBER IS HUGE. 10,000 (ten thousand) Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military and settlers in the past 20 years.
Of course we agree with the Palestinian campaigners who say “we are not numbers” – each of these deaths is a real human tragedy. And of course the deathly nature of this apartheid situation goes back very much further than 2000. But when we came to look at the number of people who have been killed by the Israeli military and settlers in Palestine recently, we were shocked to find that 10,000 (ten thousand) Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military and settlers in the past 20 years. This includes the assaults on Gaza but also the checkpoint killings and many others. It is an average of five hundred killings a year – or around ten a week.
Source: the websites of B’tselem (Israeli human rights organisation) and the Palestinian statistics via Wafa’ Agency.