Slain Teenager Found In Israeli Settlement
At 3pm on Wednesday, 16th April, the mutilated body of 15 year old
Hammad Nidar Khadatbh was found in lands of the illegal Israeli
settlement of Al-Hamra by his father, who was out searching for his
left the house at 9am on Tuesday, 15th April to work on
family's land, located near the stolen agricultural lands of the
settlement. As the second eldest son, he was picking cucumbers for
the family rather than going to school, to help with the income of his
struggling family. At evening he failed to return home, and so his
father and other family members immediately went searching for him.
They found nothing. They set out again the next day, Wednesday, and
found his body in a place they had searched the day before - clearly
Hammad's body was naked, bloated, and tortured.
His neck was broken,
and his face had been smashed in with rocks. One finger had been cut
off and there were multiple holes in his torso, seemingly made by a
sharp, round implement - something like a pen, his family explained.
An Israeli police officer who arrived on the scene to investigate the
incident confirmed that Hammad had been murdered, but made no comment
as to by whom. Hammad's body was immediately taken to the coroner in
Jerusalem, but the report on the exact cause of his death will not be
available for another week.
speaking to many people in the area, it was established
Hammad had tried to return home via the Al-Hamra (Arabic for "red
area") checkpoint, but was refused passage through as being only 15
years old, he had no identification (IDs are only issued to
Palestinians aged 16 years and over). It appears that Hammad was then
forced to walk around the long way home, and was taken at this point
on Tuesday night.
location of the body - on settlement lands and near
Israeli-only apartheid road - the family are convinced that Hammad was
killed by settlers from the Al-Hamra settlement. His father explained
that his son was only a young boy, and had no enemies. Also, he
explained, there are no Palestinians in that area, only settlers from
the agricultural settlement.
The 11500 residents of the
village of Beit Furiq, located near the
northern West Bank city of Nablus, have regular problems with the
illegal settlements near their village. Approximately three years ago
a 78 year old man, Mohammad Abu Oday, was killed when settlers from
Itamar settlement destroyed his head with large rocks. Another young
man was also shot dead by settlers, and five others have been injured
whilst attempting to pick their olives. Residents advise that these
attacks happen when Palestinians go to lands that are anywhere near to
settlements, occurring every couple of years.
Interestingly, these attacks elicit no
repurcussions on the settlers
by the Israeli military such as are inflicted upon Palestinian
villages in similar, or even lesser situations. The village of Beita,
for example, was shut down for four days last week, with massive
roadblocks installed on every road to the village, and residents
arrested for attempting to leave after a shooting occurred near an
Israeli-only road in which no one was injured.
Hammad was buried at 3pm on
Thursday 17th April, and is survived by
his parents and seven siblings.