Samir Awad was just 16 years old when Israeli occupation forces killed him on 15 January 2013. They shot him as he fled from the place where soldiers ambushed a group of Palestinian children who were protesting against the construction of Israel’s illegal separation barrier cutting across the occupied West Bank village of Budrus.
The brief video above from Amnesty International highlights the killing of Samir as one of several where Israeli occupation forces have “carried out willful killings which could amount to war crimes.”
The video was released to complement Amnesty’s recent report “ ‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank.”
As Amnesty states: “Initially the IDF [Israeli army] claimed that its soldiers had thwarted an attempted infiltration into Israel by a Palestinian.”
But this was not true.
Amnesty notes that “Eyewitnesses attested that Samir Awad and the other children were posing no serious threat to the soldiers who fired at them, or to others. Yet, more than one year later, the Israeli authorities have failed to ensure any accountability for his death or for their soldiers’ use of live fire against Samir Awad and the other children.”
Samir Awad’s case was also recently investigated by Human Rights Watch, which highlighted it as an example of a shocking pattern of Israeli occupation soldiers deliberately lying in ambush for Palestinian children near their schools.
As Linah Alsaafin reported for The Electronic Intifada at the time, “The soldiers were hidden from view in trenches near Israel’s wall before shooting him the first time. As Samir tried to run away, he was shot again and again.”
Ayed Morrar, a leader of the popular resistance against the wall, told Alsaafin that “The soldiers had set up two ambushes for Samir, and were hidden well … They suddenly reappeared, grabbed him, but Samir managed to get away for a few meters before he was shot by live ammunition in his legs. The soldiers in the other trench then shot him in the back and head. This was an assassination; their intention was to kill, not to capture or arrest him.”
Malik Morrar witnessed his schoolmate Samir’s killing. Speaking in the Amnesty video, Morrar says that after Samir was shot, “He bled for twenty minutes. They never tried to help him.”
After his death, Samir’s mother, Sadqiya, told The Electronic Intifada that her son “was always so good-natured and humorous, the joker in the family. He loved the land with a passion, and would never miss a chance to plant seeds or harvest the crops.”
She had high hopes for her son, but like those of so many children before him, Israeli occupation soldiers took Samir’s life for no reason and with total impunity.