Palestinian boy Zain lost his mother three years ago when he was still a baby. Last Friday he lost his father, too – a mentally disabled young man who was incapable of speech. In a senseless act, Israel Defense Forces soldiers, using live ammunition, shot him in the chest from a range of 20 meters, killing him.
His young mother died at 18 from cancer, about a year after her only child was born. And her husband, Mohammed Jabri, 24, who was raising their young son, Zain, alone is now dead, too.
Everyone is now wrenched in grief over Mohammed, the son, and brother, who was killed next to the fence of the girls’ high school on King Faisal Street in Hebron. Three soldiers, who were hiding behind the trunk of an ancient olive tree, lurking in ambush for stone throwers in the schoolyard, suddenly darted from their hiding place and shot Mohammed, whose father says he could never grasp the meaning of approaching danger.
With a close-range bullet to the chest, how easily Israel casually murders the widowed father of a 4 year-old boy https://t.co/XZcjgm5N27
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) March 15, 2018
“Mohammed was very simple. He would not have noticed, for example, the danger of soldiers who were shooting,” Zain, the father, for whom the grandson is named, says. Nor did he know the difference between a 50-shekel note and a half-shekel coin in this poverty-stricken home. “For him, everything was half a shekel,” adds Zain.
In Hebron, where everyone knew Mohammed because of his strange behavior, he was called “Akha, Akha” – an echo of the meaningless sounds he uttered. “Akha, Akha” was what he habitually shouted at the Israeli soldiers, some of whom also knew who he was. He often taunted them at the checkpoints situated between the two parts of the city, shouting guttural noises at them, sometimes also throwing stones.
— Aya Isleem #Gaza 🇵🇸 (@AyaIsleemEn) March 14, 2018
Twice he was arrested but on both occasions was quickly transferred to the custody of the Palestinian Authority, which brought him back home to his parents, because of his condition. The last time that happened was half a year ago. He also shot and wounded in the legs three times while throwing stones, but the injuries weren’t serious.
So “Akha, Akha” went on provoking the soldiers, as he did last Friday, too, on what turned out to be the last day of his life. “The Israeli government and the army knew exactly who Mohammed was. After all, they arrested him and released him,” Zain tells us, during our visit this week.
The Israeli army in Hebron has just shot dead one of my dearest friends. They shot him despite physical and mental limitations he has. I miss him and hurt with his family for the loss. pic.twitter.com/7B8SdyemkP
— Issa Amro عيسى عمرو (@Issaamro) March 9, 2018
Zain recalls, IDF soldiers arrived at the hospital in order to arrest Mohammed. The family hurriedly smuggled the body out in a private car and took it to the city’s other hospital, Al-Ahli.
(Haaretz, PC, Social Media)