Friday, April 28, 2017

Teenager shot in his head in Aida refugee camp


By Jessica Purkiss - January 20, 2013
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Aida refugee camp] [IDF] [Dumdum bullets]

On Friday January 18th at approximately 3.20 pm, sixteen year old Saleh Elamareen was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Elamareen is from the neighbouring refugee camp of al-Azza.

Aida lies directly next to the Apartheid Wall, and as a result clashes between the refugees and the Israeli army often occur. The past two days residents have been protesting after a hole was made in the Israeli Apartheid wall.

A refugee worker who works in Aida Camp told the Palestine Monitor that on the same day a warning from the Israeli army was issued informing residents that if they walked down the main street, which leads to the Wall, they would be met by live fire.

Salah Elamareen was outside the Lajee Refugee Centre when he was shot through the left forehead. The Centre lies some distance from the wall itself. At the time of the shooting eyewitnesses have said that protests were not happening, and that the people of Aida were simply watching the soldiers from afar. This is supported by video documentation of the incident, which shows a group of youth carrying Elamareen after he was shot.

According to reports neurosurgeons have performed three surgeries on the patient, and he is in a critical condition

Directly after he was shot, Saleh Elamareen was transferred to the Beit Jala Government Hospital and then to the nearby Arab Society Hospital. After intervention from the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was in Bethlehem at the time of the shooting, Elamareen was transferred to a Hadassa in Israel.

According to reports neurosurgeons have performed three surgeries on the patient, and he is in a critical condition. A resident of the camp had the chance to speak to the doctor who treated Elamareen immediately after he was bought to the Beit Jala Government Hospital. The doctor reportedly said that he was 99% sure that the patient was dead, and even with medical intervention he would be brain damaged.

Two of the doctors who treated Elamareen did not rule out previous rumours that he was shot with a dumdum bullet, due to the fragmentation of the bullet within his head. Another doctor has claimed it was definitely a dumdum bullet in his opinion.

Dumdum bullets expand after impact and are designed to cause maximum damage and pain. Due to the brutality of these bullets they are illegal under international law. Article 8 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala made the use of expanding bullets in non-international armed conflict a war crime. The Hague Convention also prohibits there use in international warfare. If the doctors are correct and a dumdum bullet was in-fact used, this would be another serious violation of international laws and standards by Israel.

The head of the department under which he was treated at the government hospital said he was hit with the bullet in the left frontal section of the head, around the eye, causing large intracranial haemorrhaging. A number of doctors who looked at the patient concluded that the bullet exploded in the brain. The CT scan the Palestine Monitor obtained shows the shrapnel inside his skull. The entry wound shows significant impact to the skull, and there is no exit wound.

Today it is not known what will happen to Saleh Elamareen. But for the residents of Aida and the neighbouring camps the shooting is likely to lead to large protests on an unprecedented scale.

Time and time again Israeli soldiers have shown the camp residents and the whole of the West Bank that they are not afraid to use live ammunition, including dumdum bullets prohibited under international law. With this in mind it appears likely that Elamareen may be one of a line of victims in the coming days, after 2 Palestinians in Gaza and another two in the West Bank were killed, all in the space of five days.




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