Mohammad Amira shot in the head by army ambush
We heard from a Palestinian friend living in Ni’alin that our friend Mohammad Amira was shot in the head yesterday at the weekly Friday protest demonstration in his village by a ‘sponge pellet’ fired at close range. As soon as he was hit, Border Policemen caught him and delivered him to Tel Hashomer Hospital (in central Israel), where he is hospitalized and in fact under arrest and close watch in the neurosurgery ward since yesterday.
We know Mohammad from our shifts at Ni’alin. He impressed us deeply in the non-violent, persistent struggle has been involved in to return to the village lands that are now located beyond the Separation Fence. Mohammad is a science teacher at the Ni’alin high school. At demonstrations, always in the fore, with the Palestinian flag and the megaphone, he conducts talks with soldiers as if he were the teacher in the classroom, explaining to them the injustice of the Israeli military occupation, speaking about peace and the two peoples living side by side. He does emphasize that the robbed lands should be returned to their owners.
We reached the hospital before 14:00. We tried to find out where he was hospitalized. When we noticed to Border Policemen and a hospital security official, we realized we had come to the right place. A group of about 10 activists, some of them regular participants at the weekly demonstrations, were sitting at the entrance to the war. Although we were told he was not allowed visitors, we managed to enter and even shake his hand. He was shackled to the bed, for fear he would be smuggled out?? Apparently tonight or tomorrow he will undergo interrogation.
A friend who was at the demonstration on Friday told us that until 3 weeks ago, the army would arrive before the demonstration through a gate in the wall that leads to the olive groves between the fence and the village houses. A new commander has now changed the rules of the game. For three weeks now the army remains observing the demonstration from across the fence. Yesterday, while the demonstrators passed through the olive groves, assuming they were clear of soldiers, Mohammad ran into an ambush and was shot in the head. Apparently the soldiers entered, hid behind trees and lay in waiting for the demonstrators.
Now Mohammad Amira is apparently being incriminated as though he were hurling stones at the soldiers. He will stand trial sometime in the next few days.