[Jerusalem]--After nearly five years since a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli border policeman killed 10 year Abir Aramin, her family was awarded $430,000 by an Israeli court.
The Israeli authorities initially insisted that a stone thrown by Palestinian protesters caused her fatal injury, but the Jerusalem district court finally ruled on the 25th of September that the state of Israel was responsible for the child's death and Judge Orit Efal-Gabai said there was no doubt that the bullet, which struck Abir was fired in violation of orders.
Abir's father, Bassam Aramin, never blamed the "18-year-old boy for shooting an innocent 10-year-old girl", but always held Israeli government policies to blame.
On 16 January 2007, Abir Aramin, her sister and two friends were on their way to buy sweets after school in the Anata refugee camp, which is near Jerusalem on the West Bank side of Israel's Wall when she was shot in the head with a rubber bullet by the Israeli Border Police.
After three days on life support Abir's struggle ended- but
not the struggle for justice her parents have been seeking ever since. Although
awarded monetary compensation for "lost years" and for burial
expenses, the recognition by the Israeli court perhaps maybe the justice they
In 2007, Avichay Sharon, of Combatants for Peace stated, "Over the past two years, the Israeli Border Police and IDF forces have been creating provocations near the school district of Anata [which] has become a part of the daily routine for the children. Ever since construction started on the separation barrier surrounding Anata, the jeeps have been roaming the streets especially near the schools and shooting grenades and tear gas along with rubber bullets.
"Many children have been injured in the past by these brutal actions of the soldiers and on January 16th it became deadly. As in many other cases the police replied that the soldiers were shooting in response to stones thrown at them by children. Even though all the evidence and witnesses stated that no stones were thrown that day" the prosecution initially dismissed the Aramin family's case, claiming lack of evidence.
Bassam Aramin, Abir's father and co-founder of Combatants for Peace said, "I'm not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I've lost my heart, my child. I will do all I can to protect her friends, both Palestinian and Israeli. They are all our children."
When Abir's father, Bassam Aramin was seventeen he was sentenced to seven years in an Israeli prison for belonging to the then-outlawed Fatah movement. Although soldiers in prison had beaten him, he decided that he would not become a prisoner of hatred.
The "Combatants for Peace" are Palestinians and Israelis, who had once all been involved in perpetuating the cycle of violence-Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle to end the occupation of their homeland. All decided to put down their guns and instead work together in the good fight for justice that can bring peace through nonviolent actions by raising voices of conscience and seeking to create political pressure on both Governments to end the violence and end the military occupation of Palestine.
On one of my seven trips to Israel Palestine, in March of 2006, I visited the Anata refugee camp and saw the thirty-foot high concrete apartheid Wall at the boy's high school that fences in around 800 Palestinian adolescents, whose only playground is a slab of cement about the square footage of a basketball court.
A resident refugee informed me that on a daily basis, "The Israeli Occupation Forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day! The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and is allowing this misery to continue."