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Baha's Murder - Report by Hanin

I came to Palestine on Sept. 1st to see my family. I soon came into contact with members of ISM (International Solidarity Movement) and being with them I also first met Baha AlBahsh a 14 year old boy from Nablus.

On September 22nd I met Baha at 9.30 in the morning and we walked together to the Israeli army checkpoint on Amman and Jerusalem Street. There we stayed with another International for about half an hour, till more Internaionals showed up and then we went with them to the UPMRC-Center (Palestinian Medical Relief). After maybe 20 minutes I left with Internationals Al, Ewa and Carol and with Baha in the direction of the Old City.

When we had walked for about ten minutes we saw a tank and an APC aproach from one fork of the road and Palestinian youth from the other. We stayed on the road apart from them and watched how the youths threw stones and the soldiers shot back at them. Our group was visible to both the soldiers and the youths.

After a few minutes the tank and APC retreated the way they had come and the boys followed them on a parallel road. We followed the boys at some distance and at the next junction the scene repeated itself. Close to us there was a family consisting of a mother a father and 4 small children. The father thought that the soldiers might come to where we were and insisted on crossing the street to get into the Old City. To protect them we ran across with them, Baha clinging to Al and then found us in a place from where we could not oversee the situation anymore. We therefore decided to take a U-turn along the outscirts of the Old City and get to the place where the soldiers were from the other side.

This took us maybe 10 minutes and when we approached the spot we had to wait around a corner because we heard shots and the vehicles moving and did not want to walk into the scene. When we heard the tank and APC drive down the street away from us we waited for a short while longer and followed in their direction. We could not see them anymore but still heard them shoot in the distance. The boys who had been throwing stones dispersed and there was nearly no one left on the street when the tank suddenly reappeared followed by the APC. We stood to the left side of the road since there was no where to take cover. To our left there were a covered archway infront of a coffe shop and a stairway leading to houses above the road. There was one Palestinian standing in the archway and three up the stairs. Ewa and Carol stood in front of me to my left at the bottom of the stairs and Al and Baha were behind me just next to the archway. The tank turned into a side street at least still 120 metres away from us and the APC followed. But when his side was facing us it stopped and a soldier fired a single shot from it. I ducked down and saw it disappear around the corner. When I turned around Baha was lying in the archway bleeding from the side of his chest. I knelt down next to him and held his face and Al and a Palestinian man tried to help him. After a few seconds blood started pouring from his mouth and nose. An ambulance appeared after 4-5 minutes and took Baha away. A men standing next to me showed the others a spot right above the place where Baha had lain where the bullet had hit the wall.

Hanin, 28.9.2002, Nablus, Palestine



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