10-Year Old Murdered By Israeli Military in Ni’lin

30 July 2008

At approximately 5pm Tuesday, July 29, Ahmed Ussam Yousef Mousa was shot in the head by a member of the Israeli Occupation Forces. He was unarmed and retreating from a construction site after rubber-coated bullets had been shot at him and his friends. This all occurred two hours after the end of a demonstration against the construction of the Annexation Barrier on Ni’lin’s land.

During that demonstration, several soldiers were ordered to remove themselves from the demonstration by commanding officers for their violent and undisciplined behavior. A leader of the community, Mohammed Amira, was arrested during the demonstration and then taken behind a jeep and violently beaten. When photographers and internationals went to document the attacks, Israeli soldiers pointed guns at their heads and marched them away from the area. The demonstration continued with over 10 injured, including one man who was shot from very close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet that went straight through one leg and into the other. He was carried in a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. The soldiers then began pushing the demonstrators back into the village, firing tear gas and sound grenades into the houses. At one point, Israeli soldiers threw a tear gas canister in front of the open doorway of the clearly marked local clinic. Several people were treated for tear gas inhalation.

Confrontations with the Israeli military continued into the evening, with youth from the village throwing stones at armored vehicles and men with m-16s. While this was occurring at the entrance to the village, a small group of boys, including Ahmed Mousa, 10 years old, returned to the site of the construction of the Annexation Barrier. There were no bulldozers or soldiers present and the young boys and teens began pulling on razor wire that had been left by the Israeli military. When a jeep of Border Police arrived and began shooting rubber-coated steel bullets, the children and teens turned to retreat into the village. One then shot a burst of live bullets, hitting Ahmed in the forehead from no more than 10 meters away and blowing out the back of his head. He was carried by his friends to an ambulance that took him to the hospital in Ramallah but he died before arriving.

Ahmed Ussam Yousef Mousa is the 12th and youngest person to die in the struggle against the Annexation Barrier and the first in three years since the height of the struggle in 2004/2005 when 11 people, aged 14 to 62, were killed in villages in the Jerusalem and Ramallah Districts; 5 from the village of Biddu, 3 from the village of Beit Liqya, 2 from the village of Beitunia, and 1 from Abu Mes’hal.

Author’s note: There were several inaccurate reports about this incident, mostly in an attempt to get information out as quickly as possible. This information has been checked with several different sources. Additionally, though graphic photographs of Ahmed after his death are available, we choose to present him here as he lived.