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Thousands attend funeral for Palestinian-American child killed by Israeli army

Israel/Palestine
on 29 Comments

Thousands gathered in the West Bank town of Silwad outside of Ramallah to bury Orwah Hammad, a 14-year old Palestinian-American from Louisiana who was killed by the Israeli army on Friday evening.

Hammad’s memorial was held at a local school to accommodate the out pouring of mourners, rather than at Silwad’s central mosque as customary. The front entrances of the town were still littered with burnt trash bins and rocks from the clash on Friday when the youth was killed. Hammad was enshrouded with flower wreaths as children from the village wept and prayed over his headstone. Hammad died in Ramallah public hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck and head during a demonstration against the killing of another Palestinian earlier in the week.

Palestinians mourn Orawah Hammad at a cemetery in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Palestinians mourn Orawah Hammad at a cemetery in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

A Palestinian man drapes a flag over the grave of Orwah Hammad as children pay respects in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

A Palestinian man drapes a flag over the grave of Orwah Hammad as children pay respects in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

The funeral was delayed a day as so Hammad’s father who resides in New Orleans could travel to the West Bank. Hammad lived in New Orleans as well until the age of six when he relocated to the West Bank. The youth’s mother and extended family live in Silwad.

The State Department released a statement on Friday expressing its “deepest condolences” to the family of the deceased minor and called “for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.”

The circumstances surrounding Hammad’s killing remain gray. The Israeli army asserts that the youth was throwing a Molotov cocktail at the time he was struck. The Israeli army told Reuters Hammad was shot because soldiers were attempting “to prevent an attack when they encountered a Palestinian man hurling a Molotov cocktail at them on the main road. They opened fire and confirmed a hit.” However, witnesses have told me that Hammad was throwing stones and not lobbing a petrol bomb.

 

 

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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29 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 26, 2014, 11:11 am

    The people who threw Mr. Klinghoffer into the sea knew Zionism would still be murdering their people with impunity long into the future . It’s a pity nobody did anything about it.

    • saracen
      saracen
      October 26, 2014, 10:06 pm

      American tax payers should read the write up :
      The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans
      link to ifamericansknew.org

  2. just
    just
    October 26, 2014, 11:11 am

    RIP, child of Palestine/America. My deepest condolences to his family and to the weeping people of Silwad.

    (when does one ‘confuse’ a man with a child? i don’t believe the iof– ever. where’s the video? disappeared.)

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      October 26, 2014, 2:36 pm

      “The Israeli army told Reuters Hammad was shot because soldiers were attempting “to prevent an attack when they encountered a Palestinian man hurling a Molotov cocktail at them on the main road. They opened fire and confirmed a hit.” However, witnesses have told me that Hammad was throwing stones and not lobbing a petrol bomb”.

      That’s the first thing I thought. Is the IDF trained to see Palestinian children as men and women or are they scared gutless of all non-Jews generally and Palestinians in particular, so much so even their children look like adults to them ? We can all sleep soundly tonight because the US state department called “for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.” Scum.

      • justicewillprevail
        justicewillprevail
        October 26, 2014, 6:11 pm

        “We understood that in order to carry out our routine activities as soldiers, whose role is to control the territories and the civilian Palestinian population – we needed to erase the humanity of Palestinians along with our own humanity….Adolescents in Israel grow up when they learn to impose military control over another nation.”

        http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/08/how-we-grew-israeli-veteran-dehumanising-power-military-control

      • saracen
        saracen
        October 26, 2014, 7:49 pm

        Dont hold your breath nothing will happen. The IDF will with the assistance of US officials will sweep the matter under the carpet. The killer will be vindicated and free to kill more Palestinian children, courtesy American Tax payer.
        US tax payer pays Israel $8,500,000 EVERY DAY to butcher Palestinian civillians and more especially Palestinian children.
        http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/usaid.html

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 27, 2014, 12:50 am

        ” Is the IDF trained to see Palestinian children as men and women …”

        Not accurate; Israelis from a very early age are trained to think of all Palestinians as cockroaches and children simply as little cockroaches that would grow into full sized ones. There is no distinction.

    • DavidDaoud
      DavidDaoud
      October 28, 2014, 7:11 am

      The Israel army habitually lies. This is to be expected.

  3. just
    just
    October 26, 2014, 11:31 am

    Your photos are so powerful, Allison.

    In the top one, the children’s faces look old and haunted beyond their young years.

  4. annie
    annie
    October 26, 2014, 11:34 am

    if israeli snipers were not using live fire and were skilled enough to aim properly they could avoid the appearance they were hunting down kids by aiming for something other than their head, neck, heart, etc.

    this the same military that claimed the boys killed on nakba day (shot thru the heart) were slaughtered while they were throwing stones while the video proved that was a lie. there’s no reason to believe the allegation hammad was ‘about’ to throw a molotov, it sounds like justification for a execution.

    lying is a routine affair for the israeli military and believing those lies is routine for the US government. however the people are not so easily hoodwinked.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      October 26, 2014, 12:56 pm

      They are skilled enough to aim properly. They choose to shoot to kill.
      It doesn’t work. They can’t extinguish the Palestinian spirit and Judaism isn’t strong enough to resist the evil.

    • Pretext
      Pretext
      October 26, 2014, 6:54 pm

      The IDF has no accountability in the mainstream press or State Department, so who will call them out on fabricating excuses to use lethal force? Proving a negative is difficult enough as it is without adding the overwhelming and undeserved deference we show them.

  5. Horizontal
    Horizontal
    October 26, 2014, 11:53 am

    I hope our congress-members all come visit the grave site as part of their annual, all expenses paid trip to the Holy Land to see what their cowardice has achieved.

    Israel’s actions are criminal; American cover for them is grotesque.

  6. Horizontal
    Horizontal
    October 26, 2014, 1:05 pm

    The Paper of Record speaks:

    Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teenager in the West Bank, the 2nd in 8 Days.

    That’s today’s headline in the NYT. No mention that the victim is an American citizen. Curious, don’t you think?

    Here’s the lede:

    JERUSALEM — Israeli troops on Friday shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who also held American citizenship.

    His citizenship is added on in a strangely passive manner, like, “Oh yeah, by the way . . .”

    NY Times Story

    The short account ends with this; basically the same he-said, she-said game that we’re all used to:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel this week accused President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority of inciting violence against Israelis after Mr. Abbas called for Palestinians to defend their holy sites in Jerusalem “by all means.” Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide, called the accusation “unfounded and inflammatory,” saying that “the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains the main source of violence and instability in the region.”

    At least he got the last word, but in the news biz, this is known as burying the lede.

    What was I saying about grotesque?

    • Walid
      Walid
      October 27, 2014, 1:06 am

      “That’s today’s headline in the NYT. No mention that the victim is an American citizen. ”

      What’s the big deal here about the victim having been Palestinian-American and that the American press is failing to mention that he is American? Does the killing a Palestinian-American make it more horrible than the killing of a plain Palestinian?

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        October 27, 2014, 1:14 am

        No… Of course it doesn’t. At least in my mind and if I could be so bold, not in the minds of many others. I am willing to be corrected any time.

        The big issue is the lack of reaction from the US showing it’s willingness to kowtow to Israel.
        Any other nation and it would be a big issue. The state dept regularly issues statements that it expects complete and transparent investigations from Israel and then buries the death/murder when nothing occurs. Pun not intended.

        The issue is that the death of a child should be equal to the death of a child.

        In the eyes of the US it’s not.

        Not even when it’s a citizen of the US/

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        October 27, 2014, 12:26 pm

        Walid ~

        First off, it’s so unusual for the violent death of an American citizen (a teenager at that) at the hands of a foreign government to be treated in this unique fashion. Only Israel enjoys this treatment; and it’s quite noticeable whenever it occurs.

        For more in-depth info, go here: timeswarp.org

        If we didn’t have a government and media in this country aiding Israel in avoiding any sort of accountability regarding the rules of war or living up to international standards of normal behavior, all the while sticking their hand in my pocket to the tune of $3 + billion dollars a year, I probably wouldn’t care so much.

        The NYT constantly spinning their stories to give cover to these thugs just naturally strikes me as wrong, since, you know, they’re supposed to be an unbiased news organization. And that bias serves to maintain false images of Israeli victimization while at the same time downplaying Israeli brutality which serve to continue the so-called-but-anything-but “special relationship.”

        Piercing this fetid bubble should be the job of a decent newspaper, not helping maintain it.

        Are those clear enough reasons for you?

  7. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    October 26, 2014, 3:20 pm

    Not much has changed since Henry Siegman wrote this review (LRB) back ion 2008…..

    [Israel]has violent sociopathic elements. What is unusual about the last four decades in Israel is that many destructive individuals have found a haven, complete with ideological legitimation, within the settlement enterprise. Here, in places like Chavat Maon, Itamar, Tapuach and Hebron, they have, in effect, unfettered freedom to terrorise the local Palestinian population; to attack, shoot, injure, sometimes kill – all in the name of the alleged sanctity of the land and of the Jews’ exclusive right to it.

    ……”As long as the state serves the goals of the settlements, they support it. But the moment a contrary decision is made – on territorial withdrawals or evacuation of outposts – this camp allows itself to break the law … This is not the passing caprice of a few teens, but the metamorphosis of an entire camp from a centre of constructive activity to a centre of subversion.”
    Since 1967, the IDF has transformed itself into the army of the settlers, to which abused Palestinians cannot turn for protection. The settler leadership’s close ties with government power-brokers mean that they can make or break the careers of the IDF’s most senior officers.

    While the IDF, with the help of Shin Bet, is somehow able to locate almost every potential Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank and seems to be aware of their most intimate conversations, they don’t often appear able to locate Jewish settlers who have attacked innocent Palestinians, destroyed their homes and farms, or murdered them.

    The contrast with the courts’ treatment of settlers is striking. Pinchas Wallerstein, one of the most prominent settler leaders, fired at an Arab youth whom he saw burning a tyre on the road. The boy, whom he shot in the back, died. Wallerstein was sentenced to perform public service. The judge, Ezra Hadaiya, quoted the rabbinic admonition that ‘one should not judge one’s fellow until one is in his place.’ In 1982, a settler, Nissan Ishegoyev, fired his Uzi machine-gun into an alley from which Palestinian children were throwing stones, and killed a 13-year-old boy. His punishment was three months’ public service. Between 1988 and 1992, the violent deaths of 48 Palestinians were recorded in the Occupied Territories. In only 12 of these cases were indictments filed against the Israeli suspects; of these, only one resulted in a murder conviction; another ended in a conviction for manslaughter, and six resulted in convictions for causing death through negligence. The defendant who was convicted of murder, for which the maximum punishment is 20 years in prison, was sentenced to three years.

    What makes the situation particularly frightening is that the senior leaders of the IDF are increasingly settlers in the religious-nationalist camp. Many of them are under the sway of settler rabbis, who, like their jihadi counterparts, provide religious rulings – fatwas, in effect – inciting their followers even to murder

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n07/henry-siegman/grab-more-hills-expand-the-territory

  8. amigo
    amigo
    October 26, 2014, 3:50 pm

    To paraphrase Nietanyahu!!.

    The IDF is the settler movement and the settler movement is the IDF.They both want to destroy Palestine.

  9. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    October 26, 2014, 9:15 pm

    The chances of any of the attendees arriving by bus were minimal, bc Palestinians barred from Israeli West Bank buses to make them Juden Palistinenser-frei.

  10. Nite_Owl
    Nite_Owl
    October 26, 2014, 10:33 pm

    The US State Department has called for a speedy and transparent investigation. I almost nosed my coffee when I read that.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      October 27, 2014, 12:19 am

      I actually did that with a 5 monh old laptop. I wasn’t impressed. Granted mine was over the BBC Graham Norton show but the repairs weren’t any different due to that.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      October 27, 2014, 12:28 am

      @ Nite_Owl,

      off topic. ” I almost nosed my coffee when I read that.”

      I did when I read yours. Thanks for a good laugh :o)

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        October 27, 2014, 12:38 pm

        Nite_Owl ~

        The State Department also called for “calm,” which is normally a good thing, but not in this situation. I passed over it at first, but now realize how inappropriate such a statement is. Because when things are calm, everything goes on as before without public notice. Calmness makes the Palestinians disappear from our TVs, computers & newspapers.

        “Man on street with foot on woman’s throat. Police arrive on scene and call for calm.”

        This calmness hardly helps the woman, now does it?

  11. Pippilin
    Pippilin
    October 27, 2014, 4:49 pm

    Any public reaction from this young American’s Congressional representative? Or is he/she choosing to ignore the whole thing? That of course is what my FL Rep. (Kathy Castor) did when her constituent, Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, was beaten to a pulp by Israeli police while visitng family in Israel. In case anyone has forgotten, Tariq’s Jerusalem cousin, age 16, was burned alive by Zionist terrorists earlier this year.

    • DavidDaoud
      DavidDaoud
      October 28, 2014, 10:19 am

      Pippilin,
      I haven’t forgotten and neither will any Palestinian Arab in East Jerusalem.
      Mohamed al-Khdeir was on his way to meet his friends to eat Suhoor at a mosque in East Al Quds during Ramadan. Very early morning. He was captured by Jewish terrorists who just wanted to kill an Arab, beaten badly, made to drink gasoline and set on fire. That’s how the 16-year-old good Muslim boy died¬!
      For nothing he had done.

  12. eGuard
    eGuard
    October 28, 2014, 6:14 pm

    soldiers were attempting to prevent an attack

    How do soldiers do that?

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