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October 28, 1996
Israeli authorities initially refused to release the body of a 11-year-old Palestinian boy, Hilmi Salim Shushah, who died at 2 am on October 28, 1996 of head wounds at Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem section, after being beaten by a Jewish settler Oct. 27.
An autopsy examination showed that Hilmi, from Hussan village, near Bethlehem, was struck on the left side of the neck and died of a brain hemorrhage following blows to his head, which had torn the spinal artery, causing internal bleeding.
Nahum Korman, a Jewish vigilante from the Israeli settlement of Hadar Betar, was being held by police.
Hilmi was born on March 15, 1985 on the outskirts of Bethlehem and had been a 6th grader at Husan school, (in the C-area still under direct Israeli military occupation). The eleven-year old had lived with his mother and grandparents. His Palestinian father resides in Jerusalem.
According to eyewitnesses, on October 27, 1996 at around 2 PM, Hilmi was on his way home from school Sunday with two friends, when Korman sped into their village in a four-wheel-drive Jeep, stopped, and then chased the boys on foot. Hilmi was attacked on a back road that ran close to a bypass road leading to the settlement of Bitar Alit.
Witnesses said Korman grabbed Hilmi and kicked him in the head, threw him to the ground, hit him with a gun butt, and kicked him again. Korman repeatedly smashed the boy's head against a nearby wall and then against the door of the jeep. After several women villagers intervened, an ambulance was summoned; but Shoushi died on the operating table at Jerusalem's Hadassah-University Hospital in Ein Kerem.
Israeli settler leaders denied the account. They said Korman was chasing children who had been throwing stones at Israeli cars when Hilmi fell and "struck his head on a rock."
However, according to the Jerusalem Post, Korman at first admitted hitting the boy, but later stopped cooperating with the investigation.
Yehuda Gerlitz, head of the Jewish settlers' Betar Local Council, said he did not see anything wrong with "the person (Korman) in charge of security taking the initiative and deciding to bring [rock throwers] to justice..."
After the autopsy the family was not immediately given the body. The Israeli army commonly withholds the bodies of Palestinian victims so that independent autopsies cannot be conducted and so that no memorial or protest can be readily mounted.
The death of Hilmi is a double tragedy, because he had been a suitable donor for his two-year-old sister, Suha, who is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. "They didn't just kill the boy, they killed the girl, too," said Hilmi's mother, Soad.
Jewish settlers are fully armed. Their weapons are supplied by the Israeli army and they enjoy relative immunity from prosecution for crimes committed against Palestinians. If convicted, they often receive light jail sentences that are only partially served.
The killing of Hilmi is the latest in a series of attacks Jewish vigilantes have carried out against Palestinian children:
On October 15, in Yaíbad near Jenine, 13 year old Zayid Fathi was kidnapped by settlers in a private car as he was walking home from school. He was beaten.
Also on Oct. 15, in the same area, four Palestinian children were attacked by a group of settlers who severely assaulted one of them, Mahmoud Baíjawi, who was beaten unconscious.
On October 16, settlers from Shirfee Shimron near Nablus set up road blocks and stoned Palestinian cars. 12 year old Yaseen Zohdi was struck by a rock and had to be hospitalized as a result.
On October 24, Jewish settlers from the Hebron settlement of Daboya set guard dogs on a group of children from the nearby Qurtuba Girl's School.
On Oct. 27, 12 year old Sahar Abdulraouf Al-Muhtaseb, was beaten byJewish vigilantes in Hebron as Israeli soldiers watched.
February 10, 1996, while a 12-year-old Palestinian boy from Nablus was imprisoned in an Israeli jail, he was raped and sodomized by a Jewish soldier. The soldier removed the child, blindfolded and handcuffed, from his cell, and took him to another part of the prison where he sodomized him.
The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians
Copyright©1996 by Independent History and Research