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Murder of 13 year old Baha by the IDF in Nablus

Press Release dated Monday 23rd September

In Nablus on Sunday 22nd September at approximately 12:45, Baha Al-Bahesh, a 13 year old boy was shot and killed by the IDF. A group of four internationals from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were with Baha at the time. The following is an account of the events leading up to his tragic death.

Baha was well known by many of the internationals and often accompanied them around the city as a friend. He regularly worked as a volunteer with a wide range of international and Palestinian organisations.

On Sunday morning a tank and Armoured Personel Carrier (APC) were in the streets just east of the old city of Nablus. The tank and APC were firing at children who were throwing rocks. This situation lasted approximately one hour. This is a typical day in Nablus. Usually we (the internationals) would find a safe place out of the line of fire where we could observe the situation and where the IDF would be able to see that we were watching which we hope makes them moderate their response. In such situations we ask Baha to leave us for his own safety. However, on Sunday morning we could not find a suitable place due to the layout of the roads so we waited in adjacent streets in safety.

The situation came to an end and the children began to disperse. We looked around the corner of the street to see that the tank and APC had moved approximately 200m up the road and stopped. There was no gunfire and only a few children remained none of whom were throwing rocks. We decided to slowly walk up the middle of the road towards the tank. This is another typical situation in Nablus, tanks and APCs sitting on the road with people moving carefully along the roads. We had covered 20m when the tank began to move back towards us. We slowly moved to the side of the road outside a closed shuttered shop and remained in full visibility at all times. The tank then turned down a side street which was 120m from us. The APC began to make the turn but stopped.

We were still outside the shop in a group. Some children still stood at the junction from which we had come and we five were the only ones in the street. We were talking at the time.

One of the internationals noticed the soldier on the top aiming some kind of weapon down the street. This is usual behaviour as they use the sights as a telescope. Suddenly a single shot was heard and Baha was on the ground in the porchway of the shop. The APC drove on following the tank. Baha lived for two to three minutes, blood welling up in his mouth, his eyes in deep shock. We held his hands and talked to him. The ambulance arrived in two minutes. We cannot say exactly when he died.

Dr. Fathi from Al-Ethad Hospital who examined him spoke of (from notes taken at time of conversation):

"...shot under the axila passed through the left lung to right lung and heart. There was an accumulation of blood in thoraxcavity. Died of Haemo-Thorax. X-Ray showed multiple fragments in chest. Main injuries in left lung and the heart."

The doctor also said that the location of the shot in the upper torso and massive internal damage caused by the "dum-dum" bullet was consistent with an intentional kill.

Baha had been with us all morning. He had not been involved in any stone throwing. The distance over which the shot was fired was 120m... out of range for thrown objects of any kind. He had nothing in his hands.

Baha was killed deliberately for no reason. Our good friend was murdered.

(All distances given above have been paced out except for the 200m)

The internationals present at the time were as follows:

Ewa Jasiewicz (UK / Polish dual nationality) 059-370-161

Al (UK) 059-381-803

Carol (USA) 059-386-895

Hanin (German Palestinian)



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