Voices from the Occupation: Raed O. - Injury

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Name: Raed O.

Date of incident: 1 January 2013

Age: 16 years

Location: Qusra, Nablus

Nature of incident: Injury, Soldier violence

On 1 January 2013, a 16-year-old boy from Qusra, Nablus, was struck in the leg by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier.

Raed is in the 11th grade and lives with his family in Qusra, a village about 20 kilometres south of Nablus. Qusra is located near the Israeli settlement Esh Kodesh, and the settlement of Magdolim is located just 200 metres away.

At around 8:30 a.m., while Raed was in his house, he heard the village imam speaking over the loudspeaker notifying the residents that Israeli settlers were attacking the village. Raed saw some young men heading toward the south and asked them what was going on. “He said [the settlers] were uprooting olive trees and attacking the house of Abu Naser, the house farthest to the south in the village. I joined the men and headed south, about one kilometre away from my house,” says Raed.

About 15 minutes later, Raed arrived where the settlers were uprooting the olive trees. “The settlers were uprooting olive trees under the protection of Israeli soldiers...There were around eight settlers wearing civilian clothes and small caps. Some of them had their faces covered. They were throwing stones at us, and we threw stones back at them,” recalls Raed. “Israeli soldiers started firing live ammunition and rubber bullets at us, as well as teargas canisters and sound grenades.”

The clashes continued for about two hours, with the soldiers throwing teargas canisters and sound grenades, which forced Raed and the others to fall back towards the village. “I stayed with the young men about 70 metres away from where the soldiers and settlers were, and the soldiers kept throwing teargas and sound grenades at us. Then, I saw three soldiers squatting and pointing their rifles in our direction,” says Raed. Suddenly, he heard gunshots and was struck in the leg by a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Raed was taken by car to a waiting ambulance nearby where paramedics provided first aid. His leg was bleeding profusely, but after about five minutes he was able to get out of the ambulance and make his way to Rafidia Hospital for treatment.

14 January 2013