On 31 January 2014 two young Palestinian football players were shot by Israeli forces, beaten and set upon by dogs. Significantly they were not arrested or charged. We have two reports here, one from the Ma’n news agency and one from local sources.
Ma’an News agency report http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=673479
The Ma’an News agency reports that on 31 January 2014 two young Palestinian football players shot by Israeli forces have learned that they will never be able to play sports again due to their injuries, according to doctors. Doctors at Ramallah governmental hospital said the pair will need six months of treatment before they can evaluate if the two will even be able to ever walk again, at best.
Johhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, (Abu Dis), were shot at about 11.15 pm by Israeli soldiers as they were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank. Israeli forces opened fire in their direction without warning as they were walking near a checkpoint. Police dogs were subsequently unleashed on them before Israeli soldiers dragged them across the ground and beat them.
The pair was subsequently were taken to the Hadas Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem, where they underwent a number of operations to remove the bullets. Medical reports said that Jawhar was shot with 11 bullets, seven in his left foot, three in his right, and one in his left hand. Halabiya was shot once in each foot. The two were taken to Ramallah governmental hospital before being transferred to KingHusseinMedicalCenter in Amman.
Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub condemned the shooting and said that “Israeli brutality against them emphasizes the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.” Rajoub called for imposing penalties on the Israeli football association, and demanded its removal from the FIFA as it should not accept racist organizations that do not adhere to international law.
Report from Abu Dis sources and Palestinian media
On 31st January, two young men, two cousins, Adam Abduraouf Halabiyeh (17) and Johar Nasser Halabiyeh (20) were returning from football training in Abu Dis Youth Club to their house in Abu Dis, which is not far from the Israeli military camp.
On their way home, they were attacked viciously by Israeli soldiers. First, they were shot in the legs with live ammunition. Then the soldiers set dogs on them to maul their hands and legs. The young men were taken to the Israeli military camp where once again, they were badly beaten, and again on their legs. At this point, Johar’s knees were broken.
The television programme (link below) reports that Adam was first shot with three bullets and Johar tried to carry him: he was then shot in his own hand and then had another ten bullets to his legs. Then the dogs attacked them when they were on the ground before the soldiers got close to them. Adam reported that one of the soldiers hit him on the back of his head with his gun, which caused a gash in his head. This later had seven stitches, The soldier then jumped on Adam’s leg and broke his knee. They were taken in a military vehicle to the military camp where they were held for several hours. Here Johar’s knee was broken, after he told the soldiers that they were football players.
The TV interviewer said Adam, ‘So you were throwing stones and they shot you?’ Adam said that this was not the story: they did not do anything to the soldiers, the incident happened when they were on their way home from football training.
From the military camp, they were taken badly wounded to Hadasa Hospital in Jerusalem, but their families were not allowed to visit them. Adam’s mother is from Ukraine and she (unlike many Palestinians from Abu Dis) was able to get to the hospital. But when she said she wanted to see her son, she was threatened with deportation from the country if she persisted: she couldn’t see him.
They were in that hospital for four days. After that, they were released: the army had never had any charge against them in the first place.
The families took them to a hospital in Ramallah which did not have the facilities to treat their bad injuries; they are now in hospital in Jordan. The fear is that though they were well and playing football before this incident, they may never play again.
Adam is a school student still and Johar is the brother of Baraa, one of the children who visited Camden with CADFA last summer.