At about noon on 31 March 2002, Murad ‘Awaisa (and his father and brothers) were among thousands of Palestinian men detained without charge by I.D.F. soldiers at the beginning of “Operation Defensive Shield”. His father and brothers were released 12 days later.
Murad was held with about a dozen other detainees, in an apartment that the I.D.F. had commandeered in the same apartment bloc where he lived. His hands were tightly bound with wire, and when he complained about the pain to his hands, he was beaten.
At about 8:00pm, Murad and another detainee, Rashad Jabareen, asked to be taken to the bathroom. Jabareen was taken first and, upon his return, warned the other detainees that he had been beaten on his way to and from the bathroom. So when Murad ‘Awaisa’s turn came, he said he did not want to go anymore. The soldiers told him that he had asked, so he was going to go: they forcibly removed him, hands still bound, from the room.
About 20 minutes later, the remaining detainees heard intense gunfire. ‘Awaisa never returned from the bathroom, and soldiers told the detainees that he was dead. Sometime during the night of 31 March-1 April, Murad ‘Awaisa’s naked body was taken from the apartment building and dumped in the street outside.
Next morning, the I.D.F. officer in command of the soldiers who took away Murad returned to the ‘Awaisas' apartment and asked Murad’s mother for the phone number of the local hospital, explaining that someone was sick and needed an ambulance. She saw an ambulance arrive about 30 minutes later, but the soldier did not mention to her that the patient she saw being removed from the scene was already dead, and that it was her son.
At Ramallah hospital, doctors found that Murad ‘Awaisa had been shot twice, once in the knee and once in the chest, close to the heart. Needle marks in his arm indicated that attempts had been made to resuscitate him.
When the owners of the apartment in which Murad had been held were allowed to return, they found heavy bloodstains in the bathroom and in one bedroom, along with 40-60 bullet cartridges, Murad’s bullet-damaged clothes, and needles and other first-aid objects.
Murad ‘Awaisa was 17 years old and in the eleventh grade at high school when he was shot dead while in the custody of Israeli soldiers in Ramallah.
Photo: A T-shirt printed in late 2008 for members of a battalion of the IDF's Givati Infantry Brigade. The design depicts a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town, and reads: "Let every Arab mother know that her son's fate is in my hands!".
Source: Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009 (Ha'aretz); via Mondoweiss.