Ata Mohammad Sharaka is only 13 years old, last week he was shot in the back, by a live round fired by Israeli soldiers at him near the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. He was then moved to the Hadassah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, suffering serious injuries, after the bullets hit his spine causing paralysis.
“Last Sunday, April 19, Ata came back home without his schoolbag after Israeli soldiers took it from him when they detained several students of the UNRWA school in the camp” his mother, I’timad Yassin, who stays next to him at his hospital bed, told WAFA, “They told him he’ll get his bag the next day from the school principal.”
The next day, Ata went to get his school bag, the situation in the refugee camp was calm, no clashes or confrontations, and then he bought Coke and sat in front of the shop to drink it.
He suddenly then fell onto the ground, and could not get up, he did not know what hit him, and shouted at some children playing nearby who rushed to help him, but they did not know what is wrong, and asked a young man to help.
The young man carried Ata, who was bleeding from his back, and took him to the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah.
“I returned to the camp back from work, and some children told me that Ata was shot by the army, at first, I did not believe them because the situation was calm, and no clashes have taken place with the Israeli army”, the mother said, “I then called his father who has a store in Jifna nearby village, he said he did not see Ata today, I then just rushed to the hospital and the doctors told me that my son was shot, and is under surgery”.
The doctors said that Ata was shot in the back, the bullet hit his spine, shattering it, and penetrated his lung.
“They told me that my son will not be able to walk, at least for now, I was crying and screaming”, the mother said.
“My son was then moved to the Hadassah Hospital, the doctors said he was in a critical condition, and that the doctors in Ramallah did what was necessary to save his life”, the mother added, “They told us that he will remain hospitalized for at least two weeks before he can start physical therapy.”
The mother, with a low fragile tired voice and tears flooding her cheeks, tired restless eyes and body, continued, “Ata wakes up from time to time, he keeps telling me about what happened, then he always repeats the same question ‘Mom what happened to my legs, why can’t I move them’, the doctors try to keep him sedated for now due to intense pain he suffers”.
She said that the doctors told her that he is now is a stable condition, his life is not in danger anymore, “but his condition is not improving, yet it is not worsening”, the mother added.
“What did my son do to them to be shot like this, he did not even participate in protests, his only fault is that he went to retrieve his bag”, she continued, “Is he guilty because he wanted to get ready for his final exams of his seventh grade, is this a crime, is humanity gone, where are human rights groups”.
The soldiers claim that they shot him during clashes, and that he was trying to climb a settlement wall.
“But my son was shot while sitting in front of the shop, trying to drink his coke, in an area that is far away from the settlement and its walls…”, the mother said.
The child will be hospitalized for nearly two more weeks, before he is moved to a rehabilitation center, his only “fault” is that he went to school, and went back to retrieve his bag that was taken away by the soldiers, soldiers of an illegitimate occupation, soldiers who run and maintain one of the most cruel and brutal forms of apartheid.