Muhammad al- Kasbeh (17)
Today for the third time in her life, a mother received the devastating news of the death of one of her children. The pain she must be suffering is unimaginable.
Muhammad al- Kasbeh (age 17) was on a journey at dawn which if denied checkpoint access by Israeli soldiers would involve climbing the Israeli built apartheid wall which separated him from the Al Aqsa Mosque. The third holiest site in Islam is situated in the occupied old city of Jerusalem where Muhammad wished simply to pray during Ramadan. As Al Monitor states, “for Muslims, the entire walled and guarded compound that includes Al-Aqsa Mosque — Masjid Omar, the Islamic Museum and the courtyards — is generally referred to as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and is regarded as one holy site.” Thousands were expected to attend Al Aqsa this Friday. Muhammad never reached his destination, his journey of faith would mean the ending of his life.
Climbing the Israeli apartheid wall
Younes Arar, an activist and human rights defender “for Palestine, my homeland” posted details on his Facebook account. He stated that Muhammad was allegedly “shot in cold blood by a brigade commander holding a rank of ‘General’. He was shot dead, once in the head and another in his chest and left bleeding to death.”
Muhammad had 2 brothers Yaser and Samer who were also killed by Israeli forces in 2002. As Arar wrote poignantly on his page, “they were children when they were shot as well. The Palestinian can be killed for any reason just because of what he / she is, because she/he is a Palestinian, thats enough reason to be killed for, 3 July 2015.”
The aggression faced daily by Palestinians from Israeli forces
Muhammad was far from the only one prepared to take a chance on climbing the wall. Daily Sabah reported,
“Jameel Abu Rob, 20, from the West Bank city of Ramallah told Anadolu Agency that he jumped over the separation wall, which is 6 meters high, to pray at al-Aqsa.
“It is a serious risk,” Abu Rob said. “You can get shot, but the feeling that you are praying among tens of thousands of Muslim people at Al-Aqsa Mosque cannot be described.”
Abu Rob said he hopes he does not get caught by the Israeli army on his way back home.”
Arar expressed the determination of Palestinians to continue their perilous journey to Al Aqsa, he said,
“did this crime stop the Palestinians from claiming their right to enter our city?????, did their apartheid wall succeeded to make us give up our right??????, this pic which was taken today answers my questions, nothing and nothing can stand between us and our city occupied Jerusalem, 3 July 2015.”
Not even a Palestinian child was safe at Al Aqsa. Palestinian News Network reported that a 10-year-old girl received leg injuries after she was allegedly physically assaulted at the holy site by an Israeli special unit police officer, after she chanted ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is great). She is said to have received treatment at the scene.
Funerals of young men are very common
Muhammad’s funeral was held today. Attended by a throng of young men, no doubt wondering who might be next. Pamela Hardyment condemned the killing of Muhammad on Facebook saying,
“the crying mothers of Palestine..if I were an artist I would create a sculpture for our sisters and place it in every capital city throughout the world, for every country is complicit in this casual genocide of the Palestinian people.”
For one mother, there will be no celebration this Eid. Ramadan will bring back the horror of the loss of her third child each year for the rest of her life.
The terrible pain of saying good-bye
(All photos via Younes Arar)
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.