photo: Alaa Nizar Hamdan, 28, killed by Israeli live ammunition on October 4th, 2019
5th October | Wafa Aludaini | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
A Palestinian protester identified as Alaa Nizar Hamdan, 28, was shot dead on October 4, by Israeli Occupation soldiers in Jabalia, northern Gaza during the 77th week of the âGreat March of Returnâ protests.
As thousands of Palestinians gathered near theÂ IsraeliÂ barrier fenceÂ surrounding Gaza to participate in the marches, Israeli forces, who were positionedÂ on sandy hills near the separation fence,Â opened fire,Â using live ammunition and tear gas canisters against the unarmed protesters.Â At least 50Â were injured, 22 of them from live ammunition.
Alaa Nizar Hamdan was a husband and fatherÂ withÂ a 3 year-old daughter,Â Layan. On Saturday, the day after Alaa was killed, I spoke with his wife and family.
âLayan was everything to her father, since his death she has asked me hundreds of time about him, and I just keep cryingâŠ he always dreamed to have kids, and to bring them up in a beautiful home of their own,â his wife recalled. Layan was conceived through in vitro fertilization, an extremely costly process anywhere in the world but especially for Gazans. âHe was working on his new flat, it just needed a few more things to be ready for us, but he died before achieving his dream.â
Layan, Alaaâs only daughter, sat beside me while I spoke with her mother, playing with the new toys her father broughtÂ her for her 3rdÂ birthday, blissfully unaware that her father would not be coming back, that she is now fatherless. âLast month, he celebrated his daughterâs birthday for the first time.Â HeÂ savedÂ money from his salary for 6 monthsÂ for the celebrations and gifts.â
One of AlaaâsÂ sisters,Â Hanaa,Â 22, told me,Â âWe are seven sisters and six brothers, Alaa was the middle brother, and the kindest among usâŠHe was always so helpful and smart,â she added.
Alaa was previouslyÂ shot and injured in the leg a month ago by Israeli snipersÂ during the Great March protests. Alaaâs brother Mohammad recalledÂ thatÂ âeven after his injury,Â he would go with his crutches, to keepÂ protestingÂ for our rights. He enjoyed life, heÂ likedÂ swimming and travellingâŠhis only fault wasÂ beingÂ a Palestinian who dreamedÂ of liberation.â
Mohammad was there the day Alaa was killed and saw it happen in front of him. âHe posed no threat to the Israeli soldiers, he was not even holding anything in his hands. He was more than 100 hundred meter away from the soldiers.âÂ According to PRCS ambulance medics, who took him to the Indonesian Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Alaa was shot in front of the main gate of Abu Safiyah area while he was about 80 â 100 meters west of the Israeli barrier fence.
Alaa used to work in a stone factory but the factory closedÂ severalÂ years ago due to the Israeli economic and military blockade imposed on Gaza.
Medics say the slain father was shot in his chest by an explosive bullet, banned under international law, fired by an Israeli soldier enforcing an illegal occupation.Â Since the commencement of the Great March of Return in Gaza, in March 2018, 313 Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli forces, among them 2 journalists, 3 paramedics, 3 women and over 90 children. Thousands more have been wounded.
Palestinians in Gaza are calling for an end toÂ the longstanding Israeli siege, which blocks the shipment to Gaza of everything from medical supplies, food and fuel, to materials to rebuild their homes, and theÂ right ofÂ return to lands they were forcibly expelled fromÂ inside Occupied Palestine.
Wafa Aludaini is a journalist and activist in Gaza who writes a weekly column for ISM on the Great March of Return.
Human Interest 10/04/19 BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti Granted UK Visa after Unexplained Delay
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.