Video: Palestinian teen slain in Hebron only saw his older brother behind bars

Israel/Palestine
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The 17-year-old killed by an Israeli soldier in Hebron the other day was Mohammed Salayme, and his older brother Awad Salayme was a prisoner released by Israel in the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit in October 2011. The terms of the exchange agreement forbade certain prisoners from returning to their homes in the West Bank. So Awad Salayme was exiled to Gaza.

Last year the two brothers communicated on the video above. Here is a translation of the exchange:

Speaker: I have the youngest brother of Awad. Mohammed is 16. Awad spent 18 years in prison. Mohmmaed has never seen Awad except in photos or from behind bars.

Mohammed: In the name of Allah. Thank God for your release, Awad. I am happy from the bottom of my heart. I am extremely happy [that you’re free]. I have not experienced this happiness before. I wish I could embrace you. I pray that we will soon see you in person and that I will be with you and all the prisoners and Palestine also will be free.
I want to remind you of something maybe you still remember. I remember when I first touched your hand in prison It was a great moment for me. Now is a much greater moment.

I congratulate you on your release and I congratulate all other prisoners. May God release all other prisoners. Thank god again and I wish to be with you.

Awad: Alhamdulillah, dear Mohammed. I am sure I will be with you soon. And I will embrace you and find you a wife.

Mohammed: First we should find you a wife.

Awad: Do not worry about me.

Mohammed: I am in a hurry.

Awad: Thank you my brother Mohammed. Alhamdulillah now you do not have to see me from behind bars any more. You have been visiting me from prison to prison now you can take a break.

Mohammed: I am sure we will be together again and I will be very close to you all the time. The family will be together again, we will live together, eat together and will never part again.

Awad: Remember when you visited me and I tricked the Israeli officer telling him you’re my son to let you in and take a picture with you. Then he realised you’re my brother. But we had that picture.

Mohammed: I do remember that.

Awad: You were great then, acting my son.

Mohammed: I also remember when we used to tease each other whether our Mom is your Mom or my Mom.

Awad: Well, she is MY Mom. Is not she called Om Awad?

Mohammed: ALhamdulillah, after the suffering and torture of visitations we have been through now you are free. and I hope we will meet soon.

Awad: In Sha Allah we will meet soon after this great victory.

Mohammed: And we will see you a bridegroom soon.

Awad: In Sha Allah. And I want you to get high marks at school and make me proud of you.
 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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