Palestinian seriously wounded in Ni'lin

IDF says mentally-disabled man rushed at soldier crying "Allah Huakhbar" during brother's arrest.

September 1, 2008 11:19
3 minute read.
Palestinian seriously wounded in Ni'lin

nilin olympics 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

Ayed Sroor, 40, was critically wounded by the IDF early Monday morning when soldiers entered his family's home to arrest his brother in the Palestinian village of Ni'lin, outside of Modi'in Illit. Ni'lin has been the site of numerous anti-fence demonstrations in the last few months, many of which have turned violent. The IDF said Ayed's brother, Aqal Sadeq Sroor, was suspected of throwing a smoke grenade at security forces during one of those demonstration and the IDF had come to his home to arrest him. Once inside the home, the army said that Ayed went wild and was promptly put in a room to calm him down. As soldiers left the home with Aqal Sadeq, his brother Ayed came out of the room swearing, according to the IDF. He shouted "Allah Huakhbar" ("God is great") and tried to grab a gun from one of the soldiers. The soldier, who had his back turned, spun around and shot the man from close range. A riot subsequently broke out and the soldiers were pelted with stones. The troops responded using crowd dispersal tactics, said the army. But Ayed's relatives tell a different tale. They said that Ayed, who is a father of four, is mentally disabled and they rejected the claim that he had tried to take a soldier's gun. "They're lying," said a brother of Ayed and his nephew. The information they gave to The Jerusalem Post was relayed by a medical student, Abdullah Musleh. He said the soldiers arrived at the home at about 3 a.m. and left about 20 minutes later. Ayed was reportedly so upset at the sight of his blindfolded brother being led away by the soldiers that he tried to grab hold of his brother in hopes of preventing the arrest. Ayed called out to the soldiers, "Why are you taking him away?" The soldiers, said Musleh, pushed him to the ground. Ayed got up and again tried to catch his brother, and this time the soldiers shot him in the doorway of the home. Ayed was taken to a hospital in Ramallah. A doctor at the hospital, Imad Muhammad Rasheed, told the Post that Ayed had been hit in the right eye and blinded by a rubber bullet. Additionally, Rasheed said, Ayed was hit in the right jaw and superficially in the chest by two more rubber bullets. Doctors were able to remove the bullet that injured the eye, but had been unable to extract the bullet that was lodged behind his jaw, said Rasheed. As a result of the shootings, the skull was fractured. He said that surgery was needed to remove the bullet and to the eye, to prevent infection. Ayed, he said, was unconscious and in the intensive care unit. Judea and Samaria Division Brig.-Gen. Noam Tibon led an investigation into the shooting. Following the end of the initial investigation, the IDF released an official statement saying that the soldiers had acted in accordance with military orders. Military sources said the soldier who shot the Palestinian did what was expected of him in the of an attempt to snatch his rifle in a restive environment. The IDF also noted that following the shooting, the soldiers tried to medically attend to the wounded man, but he barricaded himself up in his house. The watchdog group Yesh Din called for a further investigation into the shooting. Ayed's shooting is the third serious incident in little over a month in Ni'lin. At the end of July, a border police man used live ammunition to fatally shoot Ahmed Ussam Yusef Mousa, 11, at the tail end of an anti-fence demonstration. A few days later, Yousef Ahmed Younis Amera, 18, was fatally shot with a rubber bullet by a border police man in Ni'lin. Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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