Ten-Year Old Girl Killed by IDF at Anata School

Thursday, 18 January 2007
(Jerusalem) Maisa Abu Ghazaleh
by Palestinian News Network

Israeli soldiers

Abir was carrying a book, a notebook and some pens in her 10 year old hands. She had yet to participate in a demonstration or a march protesting occupation, but that did not stop Israeli soldiers from hitting her.

Abir Aramin was only injured at first by the gas bomb that was shot at the back of her head. She had just stepped out of the Anata School for Girls after taking a test when the gas canister hit her and she was knocked to the ground.

Israeli forces in Jerusalem had penetrated the town and began indiscriminately opening fire while detonating gas and sound bombs. Some young people responded with stones. Abir was the victime of the war game that the Israeli soldiers play daily when they enter the town during school hours and begin shooting near the Anata schools. These children are under 13 years of age, and do not fall prey to the taunting.

Abir’s father, Bassam Aramin, said, “I contacted the school administration while I was on my way to work and they told me that my daughter had been knocked to the ground and suffered a head injury. I thought it was just something simple. I contacted her mother and asked if she could go to the school and check it. But over the telephone I learned that the soldiers had done it and that Abir had been rushed to Makassed Hospital.”

During her first examination we learned that her skull had been fractured and that she had bleeding in her brain. She was initially treated and then we rushed her to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Karim Branch, in order to follow up the situation which was described in both hospitals as serious. Abir was lying in intensive care and in critical condition. She underwent brain surgery at 9:00 pm as her health deteriorated.

On Thursday Abir died from the injuries.

Abir’s father works for the Jerusalem Society for Democracy and Dialogue and said, “I work in peace organizations and want to appeal to the entire work that what we want is a just and honorable peace. That is what is not wanted by the Israeli leadership.”

Bassam Aramin had some words for the Israeli government. “The victims among the Palestinian people are no less important than Israeli people. We are all human beings.” He called on Israeli mothers to not be “tools of the occupation by sending their children to the battlefield without reason.” Aramin explained, “My daughter is a victim of a systematic oppressive policy and the Israelis must end the occupation and say yes to peace.”

The Director of the Anata School for Girls said Wednesday that she regrets what happened to Abir Aramin. “What happened yesterday is a deliberate and provocative exercise practiced by border guards since the beginning of exams at the end of the first quarter at students in all of the Anata Secondary schools.” She added, “The border guards are present daily at the doors of the Anata School for Boys and that for girls, and around Saladin Street where they know the kids must pass to reach buses or to walk home. They provoke the students by throwing grenades at them.”

The school director appealed for international protection for Palestinian school students.

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