I visited Israel a month ago. I left with the thoughts foremost in my mind, watch Silwan and pay attention to May 15. I knew something big would happen. Something big did happen, a teenager died apparently at the hand of settlers. The why, the rewrite of history by the Israelis, is just as interesting. The first part of the diary is to get people up to speed on the fast-moving events on the ground. If you are interested in the rewrite of history -- on Nakba Day of all days -- go straight to the fold.
In order to make sure that I wasn't accused of predicting the past I left the following comment earlier this week here:
Just so I am on the record here before it happens, I predict the Arab Spring will hit Palestine on May 15 (the anniversary of the Nakba).
Little did I know that the parallels would be complete right down to a martyred teenager. (Thus the title of this diary.)
Then, I left the following comment on Friday, watching Silwan.
Also, here's a video of IDF in Silwan today, where seventeen-year-old Morad Ayyash from the el-Amud neighborhod was shot in the stomach with live fire. He was rushed to the Muqassed hospital where he needed eight doses of blood. His condition is described as serious. To think I walked those streets a month ago. Much safer for American tourists.But Aharonovitch told the radio he believed the anniversary would pass quietly, and Israeli news website Ynet quoted him as saying he had instructed the security forces "to exercise restraint and avoid using force."
I got the name wrong but the rest of the details appear to be correct. Then I saw the following from AJE this morning.
Tensions had risen a day earlier after a 17-year-old Palestinian boy died of a gunshot wound suffered amid clashes on Friday in Silwan, another East Jerusalem neighbourhood.
Police said the source of the gunfire was unclear and that police were investigating, while local sources told Al Jazeera that the teen was shot in random firing of live ammunition by guards of Jewish settlers living in nearby Beit Yonatan.
Did this have to do with what I was noticing on Friday? Off to CNN.
Milady Ayahs, 17, was participating in a protest Friday when Israeli police shot him, his family said. He died early Saturday, according to police and his family. The incident is under investigation.
Initial reports were that no live ammunition was used by police who responded to the protests, Rosenfeld said. He said Ayahs was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Rosenfeld said police asked to perform an autopsy on Ayahs to aid the investigation, but the family declined.
Something's not adding up. I'll give a fuller explanation after the fold, from what I saw in Israel the settlers have a better chance of being the shooter and the stomach was where he was shot -- how else can he die with so much blood loss?
OK. How about AFP? It would not have as much of a pro-Israeli bias as the American media.
In conflicting reports of Ayyash's death his family say he was 16 years old, but police say 17.
A relative said he was shot in the stomach by a Jewish settler in the neighborhood of Silwan.
Police said that he suffered a light wound to the shoulder, from as yet unknown causes, and they were investigating the circumstances. They said that no live ammunition was used either by security forces or settlers.
Activists added that the bullet removed from his wound during surgery came from a gun and not a riffle, which is predominantly used by security guards, as opposed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
Now it's starting to make sense. Now a much fuller account from PCHR:
In a new crime in the evening of the day before yesterday, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed in cold blood a Palestinian child in Silwan neighborhood in the south of the old town of occupied Jerusalem. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns this crime and calls upon the international community to take immediate action in order to compel the government of Israel to stop such crimes.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements made by the deceased child's father, Said Ali Issa Ayash, 57, who lives in Ras al-Amud area in East Jerusalem and who is a translator and an editor of Israeli affairs, at approximately 15:00 on Friday, 13 May 2011, Milad, 17, who is Ayash's son, was walking on a dirt road in the center of Silwan in the south of the old town of Jerusalem. As he was between 10 and 15 meters far from two houses which had already been occupied by Israeli settlers, he was shot by a bullet coming from the direction of the two houses. The bullet penetrated Milad's abdomen and exited his back and he fell onto the ground. A number of Palestinians rushed to rescue him, but IOF soldiers providing protection to settlers occupying the two houses fired sound bombs at them. Approximately fifteen minutes later, an ambulance could reach Milad and transferred him to al-Maqased Islamic Charity Hospital. Quoting medical sources at the hospital, the father said that when Milad arrived at the hospital, his heart was not beating and his intestines and arteries were torn. Medical sources pronounced Milad dead in the dawn of Saturday, 14 May 2011. Mr. Ayash said that the area where Milad was passing was so calm at that time and that there were clashes between Palestinian boys and IOF in Beer Ayoub area in al-Bustan district in Silwan, approximately 1,500 meters far from the area where Milad was walking.
It should be noted that individuals from Israeli private security companies and forces from the Israeli Border Guard are providing protection to the Israeli settlers occupying the two mentioned houses.
PCHR renews its condemnation of, and points with grave concern to the reported crime and:
1. Asserts that these crimes are part of a series of war crimes committed by IOF in the OPT, which reflect a total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.
2. Calls upon the international community to take immediate action in order to put an end to such crimes. PCHR further renews its demand for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 which stipulates "the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances," as well as their obligations under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and under Protocol I Additional to Geneva Convention
Note my bolded text. Again, more later. Now the funeral. With chants of "With our blood and our soul, we shall sacrifice for the martyr," they went to the Al Aqsa mosque and flew a Palestinian flag on the Temple Mount! Note how close the Temple Mount is to all this. To get to the flashpoint of the so-called City of David and it's associated Jewish settlements you take a right from the Western Wall security complex, go out the Dung Gate, go a few feet down a hill and boom you're there.
Here's some images from the funeral:
You may ask why I was obsessed with Silwan after my Israeli vacation. The explanation after the fold.