Dead or alive? The Palestinians falsely declared themselves ‘martyrs’
AQABAT JABR (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES) – Palestinian mother Basma Aweidat mourned for two weeks after receiving the devastating news that her son had been shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.
She then received a call saying that Thayer, 28, had been shot but was alive and being treated at a hospital in Israel.
“I couldn’t believe what they told me,” Basma said.
Amid the chaos of escalating violence in the West Bank’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such traumatic stories of muddled identities are rare but not unique.
In the case of Thayer Aweidat, the Israeli army launched a raid on February 6 at the entrance to the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near the West Bank city of Jericho to look for suspects accused of carrying out an attack on Israelis.
The army said it had killed five “terrorists” and an Israeli security official told AFP that the military had confiscated the bodies of the dead Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority, which said it had been informed by Israeli authorities, announced that Thayer Aweidat, a member of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, was among the dead.
His photo was printed on posters posted on the walls of the refugee camp along with other Palestinian “martyrs” and messages of condolences were received.
– Shock –
Then Basma Aweidat’s phone rang.
It came from a cousin of hers, the mother of Alaa Aweidat, a young man who had been wounded in the same raid and taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital.
Only when she visited the hospital was she shocked to discover that the wounded man was not her child. It was Thayer Aweidat.
The latter was injured by gunfire and was in a serious condition and in a coma.
“I couldn’t believe he was alive,” said Basma, who applied for an Israeli visit permit.
“I saw him with his head bandaged and his body with multiple wounds. I tried to speak to him but he didn’t answer.”
At home in Aqabat Jabr, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the same neighbors who days earlier offered their condolences returned.
“The women in the camp started to congratulate me because my son is alive, a few days after he came to mourn,” said Basma Aweidat.
Her husband, Khaled Aweidat, has not received permission to visit his son.
“From what my wife has told me, he is in a serious condition and his death could be announced at any moment,” he said.
The fate of Alaa Aweidat is unknown.
A relative told the family he saw him aboard an Israeli ambulance and alive on February 6 after the clashes in Aqabat camp. But they haven’t heard from him since.
The army would only confirm that they had five bodies from the February 6 raid.
When asked by AFP about a possible error, neither the army, the police nor COGAT, the Israel Defense Ministry’s body responsible for civil affairs in the Palestinian territories, would clarify the reason for the confusion.
The Palestinian Authority has not specified who is providing the names of Palestinians killed in army operations from Israel.
– ‘Like Numbers’ –
But it’s not the only case.
In October, a similar story unfolded in the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah, also in the West Bank.
The Basbous family mourned their son Bassel for two days after Palestinian sources told them he had been killed by the Israeli army near Ramallah while driving with two others who also died.
But he wasn’t dead.
“I was unconscious and woke up in hospital two days later with my legs and hands tied,” Bassel Basbous told AFP.
The family received a call from a friend who had a relative who worked at Israel’s Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.
“She called me to tell me that Bassel is still alive,” said his mother Ataf Basbous.
The hospital said in a statement that “due to the nature of his condition, there appears to have been some confusion as to his identity prior to admission for treatment.”
Ataf Basbous said: “The Israelis treat us like numbers, they don’t care about families. My son gets shot and stays in the hospital for 18 days before being released, but nobody cares if he didn’t do anything.”
Bassel Basbous is still being treated for injuries to his leg and hand at Ramallah Hospital.
First nicknamed the “heroic martyr,” like all Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, he has since been known as “the living martyr.”
Source: Crypto News Deutsch