Voices from the Occupation: Hammam and Odai S. – Settler violence
Names: Hammam and Odai S.
Date of incident: 21 April 2012
Age: 3 and 12
Location: Hebron, West Bank
Nature of incident: Settler violence
On 21 April 2012, a 12-year-old boy and his three-year-old brother go with their father to their land south of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, where they are attacked by a group of settlers.
“On 21 April 2012, at around 9:00 am, I went with my father and my three-year-old brother, Hammam, to our land in Khirbet Shuweika, about seven kilometres from where we live,” explains 12-year-old Odai. “My father started clearing the land; I helped him for a while and then I went to play with Hammam,” he continues.
“At around 1:00 pm, I saw six men approaching us. They were carrying sticks and their faces were covered. I stayed where I was and didn’t feel scared because I didn’t know they were settlers. When they were about 20 metres away, they started throwing stones at us. Four of them attacked my father, and the other two attacked me and my brother. I felt terrified. Hammam started screaming and shivering. He was also terrified.”
Odai’s father tried to defend his children and was hit by stones several times. “A stone also hit me in the left leg and it hurt a lot,” says Odai. “Luckily, Hammam was not hit.” While they were being attacked, Odai’s father called his brothers to come and help them. “When the settlers noticed that two cars had arrived, they fled.”
Odai and his father were taken to the nearest medical centre for treatment. “I was told the settlers were from the settlement of Shim’a, located about one and a half kilometres from Khirbet Shuweika,” explains Odai. “What happened terrified me and my brother. This is the first time I have had such a terrifying experience,” he adds.
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