Annie Robbins ■ “Odeh is dying, they didn’t let [the ambulance] enter”. Those are the crushing words of Radaad Hamad as he recalls the day six weeks ago that Israeli soldiers sat in jeeps meters away and did nothing as his brother lay dying.
Odeh Hamad was killed on his 27th birthday, shot in the head with a live bullet by the Israeli military December 20, 2013. At the time he was with Radaad, and the two brothers were collecting scrap metal at the Beit Hanoun garbage dump in Gaza to support their family. Odeh was 27, and Radad is 23. Both were known among the locals as making their living off collecting scrap. After Amira Hass wrote about the killing Israel’s military claimed that it had fired warning shots at the men. “The troops on site repeatedly tried to distance them….”
B’tselem recently issued a report about the killing of Odeh Hamad that tells a different story: B’Tselem’s inquiries indicate that ‘Odeh Hamad did, indeed, cut some of the barbed wire close to the military perimeter fence, apparently in order to sell the metal. However, B’Tselem’s inquiries have found that, contrary to the Military Spokesperson’s claim, a ‘suspect arrest procedure’ was not carried out. The fact that Hamad was hit in the head rather than in his legs indicates that the shooting did not follow this procedure, which prohibits shooting at the head at any stage. Moreover, according to Radad Hamad’s testimony, no attempt was made prior to the shooting to warn the brothers or to get them to move away from the fence. ‘Odeh Hamad was shot in the head despite posing no danger to anyone. While he was lying wounded, close to the soldiers on the other side of the fence, Red Crescent paramedics wasted precious time trying to find him. The soldiers offered Hamad no medical assistance, nor did they help the paramedics locate him.
Jonathan Cook: Israel Continues Its Theft of Palestinian Natural Resources