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

on 29 Comments

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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29 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    December 15, 2012, 11:52 am

    breaks my heart

  2. Carllarc
    December 15, 2012, 12:05 pm

    this exchange truly shows the personal pain of the Separation Wall of the Palestinian people.

  3. Obsidian
    December 15, 2012, 3:09 pm

    And why was Awad Salayme in prison the first place?

    • Annie Robbins
      December 15, 2012, 4:02 pm

      in the first place, he is palestinian. other than that i don’t know obsidian, i tried googling and asking around but thus far have not found out. one palestinian friend wrote back:

      I personnally have not heard about Awad before. So maybe he was not a high ranking resistance fighter. But he must have been in prison for a serious thing, having spent 18 years in israeli jails.

      regardless, Mohammed was a beautiful boy wasn’t he? he didn’t deserve to die.

      the government of israel knows, maybe you could ask them. i’m sure word will slip out over the course of investigating Mohammed’s death. do you have any idea how many of those released in the shilat exchange have been re arrested or killed? just curious.

    • justicewillprevail
      December 15, 2012, 4:06 pm

      Guilt by association, and thus a fair target for murder. Is that what you are trying to say?

      • Obsidian
        December 15, 2012, 4:32 pm

        No. I’m trying to say that Annie omitted the fact that the elder brother was sentenced to life for stabbing an Israeli citizen (Jew or Arab) to death.,7340,L-4319735,00.html

      • justicewillprevail
        December 15, 2012, 6:51 pm

        She didn’t ‘omit’ anything. She didn’t know. But it still begs the question of what the relevance is to an innocent boy’s death, or what you are trying to imply in your weaselly way.

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2012, 10:02 pm


        the boy was murdered by jewish terrorists

        he had no criminal record

        his older brother is irrelevant

      • Pamela Olson
        December 15, 2012, 11:31 pm

        The article didn’t say “to death.” Do you know this as a fact, or are you just assuming?

      • Shingo
        December 16, 2012, 4:55 am

        I’m trying to say that Annie omitted the fact that the elder brother was sentenced to life for stabbing an Israeli citizen (Jew or Arab) to death.

        Your link does not say the victim died from the stabbing

      • Obsidian
        December 16, 2012, 1:00 pm
    • sardelapasti
      December 15, 2012, 4:09 pm

      None of your invader and murderer business. None of the business of any Zionists. Get the hell out of other people’s places, or submit to the law of the people whose land it is, and shut the hell up already.

      • Obsidian
        December 15, 2012, 4:33 pm

        I’m quite happy staying where and I am and speaking my mind.

      • justicewillprevail
        December 15, 2012, 8:15 pm

        Is it your mind, or the usual regurgitated zio babble, as usual when found out, trying to smear the messenger(s) and the family of the murder victim?

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2012, 10:03 pm

        you’re delusional – we know this already by reading your mendacious hasbara

    • Boston
      December 15, 2012, 5:47 pm


      Perhaps you can tell us?

  4. Annie Robbins
    December 15, 2012, 4:15 pm

    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.

    siblings not allowed.

  5. kalithea
    December 15, 2012, 10:04 pm

    It’s really sad that because of Zionist thugs or specifically a Zionist witch this boy never got the chance to be reunited with his brother. Zionists suffocate every bit of joy possible under occupation, which is scarce. I hope one day Zionists get back the same medicine they dished magnified by 10. I have ABSOUTELY no doubt there is a higher justice that will see to it. I only hope I’m around to see that day; even if I have to live to be 100! Hopefully, it will happen sooner.

  6. American
    December 16, 2012, 10:16 am

    Not to go OT but Richard Sale wrote this about the Conn. school childrens killings.
    I think it applies to all killers. What I see in these child killings is a disturbed man/boy whose Mother knew he was socially maladjusted and yet introduced him to guns as a hobby ..guns as a hobby for someone with a mental condition? What was she thinking? In America these things happen and seem to be happening more often, something is wrong here, but at least we react with horror every time.
    What stands out about Israel is they don’t react with horror to the killing of children—Except their own. This indifference to the life of everyone but themselves, the kind of pride that female IDF showed in killing that 16 year old—-I don’t know what you can do with a country where that indifference is so ingrained in it’s psyche.
    I was disgusted at Obama’s ‘tearing up’ during his address on this—is he not aware of all the children killed for no reason by the IDF?

    Killers of Children

    By Richard Sale, author of Clinton’s Secret Wars

    The murder of children yesterday is unspeakable, and one must wonder what kind of a human being is behind such an atrocity. During a month’s stay at a maximum security prison, it was my lot to talk to and learn about murderers, at least a half dozen of them or more, and I have perceived these things.

    A murder is always the work of a violent, irritable self-will working in perverse directions from the bulk of ordinary, hard working, persevering human beings. A killing embodies the principle of hostility. It has its roots a disease of self-exultation that ridicules efforts and the stature of ordinary humans and disdains their welfare. Killers have had no sound notion of anything. They look down on all others because of their fictitious merits which leads them to believe that they are superior to anyone else on Earth. Killers have no honest or reliable way of measuring values. The ones I knew had crude, coarse, repulsive personalities that looked at ordinary people with no aerial perspective. By narrowing their views and shrinking their capacity for sympathy, killers build a structure in which their figure towers above everybody else. They have no common humanity. Besides them, there is nothing. They are diseased dwarfs that think themselves as mighty and as invulnerable as Everest.

    I would say that their chief defect is a vast insensibility. They are people who have parts missing, books with the best pages torn out. They resemble people who are blind and have insuperable contempt for those who see. A murderer is someone who when he’s told he’s deaf becomes intensely resentful when he hears of others who hear and admire music, and who then dismiss that sensibility as mere fraud. The killer is small, supercilious, sarcastic and very self-deluded. If we yearn to despise a person of a thing we are bound by honor to at least display something better than what we dismiss, but that never occurs to killers.

    The character of the murderers I met was always based on profound resentment. They are always on their rights, and the wrongs done to others, are in no way equal to the wrongs done to them. They are people who proclaim their vast superiority to others exactly like them because they are incapable of recognizing others as being just like they are. They alone are unique. We are used to admiring people who have sensitivity in their natures, but sensitivity in the wrong hands can also mean mere selfishness. In the face of any hardship, the killer is the first to feel it, to suffer from it, to feel more pain than anyone else, and the suffering and hardship of others doesn’t have any meaning or weight for them because they alone truly suffer.

    They embody the principle of hostility. They want to annihilate anything that gives heat, light and meaning to everything in the world. They disdain everything while not possessing anything of value themselves. Their mental compass is always stuck on the barren, arctic regions of self love. Nothing touches them but their own fear, their own wants, their own intentions which they regard as sacred and immune from correction or oversight. The killer cannot feel or conceive of his own defects. He sets aside all feelings but his own, set aside any notion of any welfare but his own, set aside any pity for anything except himself. A killer is very hostile to anyone who does not see what riches of personality the killer believes he harbors.

    I think the key to this horrible massacre resides in the breakup his, the killer, parents’ marriage. A Washington Post story said that the break up seriously wounded the killer, and the story made mention of a neighbor who used to care for the assassin when she was out with friends. The fact the boy shot his mother in the face, and then tried to exterminate the children she cared for, says a great deal. But I am simply guessing.

    • American
      December 16, 2012, 10:46 am

      “In the face of any hardship, the killer is the first to feel it, to suffer from it, to feel more pain than anyone else, and the suffering and hardship of others doesn’t have any meaning or weight for them because they alone truly suffer.”

      Yep…..just like clockwork, killer Netanyahu speaks…..everything is about Israel and it’s suffering. Can’t ever say a word of sympathy without presenting ‘their suffering’. Never have I heard a one of them sympathize with anyone’s tragedy without first making a statement about themselves and how they suffer.

      PM expresses Israel’s shock over massacre in Connecticut
      Jerusalem Post-3 hours ago

      “WHO LIKE US in Israel is familiar with massacres of children and innocents’……..

      • justicewillprevail
        December 16, 2012, 11:15 am

        Netanyahu: well stop doing it then. How crass and deplorable, and entirely predictable, that you seek to make political capital out of this horror.

      • American
        December 16, 2012, 11:57 am

        I was actually watching the news when Netanyahu was interviewed about the 911 attack and made his famous Freudian slip by saying…..’it’s good for us”..meaning good for Israel …..then he tried to cover it up with yammering about Israel and the US being joined now in the war on terrorist. He really does fit Sale’s description of killers mentality.

      • American
        December 16, 2012, 12:28 pm

        “The killer is small, supercilious, sarcastic and very self-deluded. ”

        I was searching for the right words yesterday to describe the zio attack dogs when reading about the Hagel attacks….”small, supercilious, sarcastic and self deluded” I think describes their character perfectly.

    • seafoid
      December 16, 2012, 5:17 pm

      Obama the drone king tearing up was a bit much.

      • Accentitude
        December 17, 2012, 3:13 am

        Apparently he only tears up when he sees the effect of the killings and how it has devastated innocent civilian communities. When his R/C planes are bombing the crap out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, etc…he’s at home in D.C. shooting hoops with his girls with not a care in the world, it might as well have never happened.

  7. Stephen Shenfield
    December 17, 2012, 7:35 am

    A couple of informative articles on Israeli (non-)reaction to this and similar cases in Adam Keller’s blog:

    In general, Israelis do not want to know about Palestinian suffering and refuse to listen if anyone tries to tell them. Their main concern is that not enough Palestinians are being killed.

  8. IL1948
    December 17, 2012, 10:13 pm

    “Breaks my heart” that this knucklehead only saw his brother behind bars.

    Maybe his brother shouldn’t have murdered and thrown a Molotov cocktail?

    . Take a step back and see how pathetic you sound.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 18, 2012, 12:49 am

      breaks my heart his smile is gone. breaks my heart his mother will no longer hold him in her lovin’ arms. breaks my heart he didn’t marry and have children and grandchildren. breaks my heart he will not smell the new spring when it comes. breaks my heart he didn’t live to see his people free. but every death makes them stronger. and us stronger too. we will endure and palestine will be free. sumud.

    • sardelapasti
      December 30, 2012, 9:49 am

      Who are you calling “knucklehead”?

      “Maybe his brother shouldn’t have murdered and thrown a Molotov cocktail?”

      It’s his right guaranteed by international law to resist aggression and invasion by any means.

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