Palestinian Shot and Paralyzed by Israeli Forces Two Years Ago Dies of Wounds
Harun Abu Aram with his father, Rasmi, at home this week. Harun was born in the very same cave where he lies now, unable to move. Credit: Alex Levac
Harun Abu Aram was shot in the neck by Israeli soldiers during a confrontation with the Israeli military in the southern West Bank in January 2021, paralyzing him. Israeli authorities refused to recognize his condition or finance his treatment
Twenty-five-year-old Harun Abu Aram, who was shot by Israeli military forces two years ago in the southern West Bank, died of his wounds on Tuesday morning, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Abu Aram was shot in the neck during a confrontation with the Israeli military in the South Hebron Hills in January 2021, when soldiers tried to confiscate a generator belonging to one of his neighbors on the grounds that it was used for illegal construction. During the confrontation between soldiers and residents, caught on video, the shot that struck Abu Aram can be heard. The Israeli military initially said the incident would be investigated, later reporting that the soldier who shot Abu Aram had not intended to open fire but did so due to a “life-threatening” situation.
Harun Abu Aram, 25 years old from Khirbet al-Rakeez in Musafir, as a result of his injury in the ranks of the occupation soldiers two years ago. Just passed away!! #Defend_Masafer_Yatta#stop_killing_Palestinians pic.twitter.com/yrekhXUAGD
— Youth of Sumud (@YouthOfSumud) February 14, 2023
In a statement released in June 2021, the Israeli military said that the “investigation revealed that a violent riot unfolded, where IDF forces were attacked by a number of Palestinians who sought to obstruct IDF enforcement activity. After the Palestinians refused to evacuate the area and continued to attack IDF forces, the commander fired warning shots into the air. During the warning shots, the Palestinians continued to violently attack the commander, and one Palestinian forcibly pulled him, whilst another one seized his weapon. As a result, undirected fire struck another Palestinian who was part of the riot.”
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First placed on life support in Hebron, Abu Aram was hospitalized for months before being taken home by his family. Abu Aram’s father had requested he be admitted for rehabilitation in Israel, but the Palestinian Authority refused to finance it. In the two years since Abu Aram was shot, his father had appealed to Israeli authorities to recognize his son’s injury and finance his treatment, but they had refused. Abu Aram was eventually hospitalized at a rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv with funding provided by Physicians for Human Rights, and was later treated at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, but most of his treatment was received in the West Bank.
The Physicians for Human Rights group expresses “sorrow over the death of Abu Aram, who for the past two years bravely battled his condition despite obstacles and difficulties put on him and his family by the military. The Defense Ministry’s refusal to fund his medical treatment is a badge pf shame for State of Israel and reveals a clear shirking of its responsibility for [Abu Aram’s] health, particularly in light of its responsibility for the unfortunate situation.”