humanity: Ahmed Deeb is killed

*[photo: Max Ajl] Ahmed Deeb before he bled to death from the Israeli-fired explosive bullet which severed his femoral artery.

4:57 pm April 28

An SMS informs me that the young man from Sheik Radwan who was shot by an Israeli soldier today is dead. A visit to Shifa hospital confirms it. Ahmed Deeb, 21, was among protesters closest to the border fence at the former Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, when he was targeted in the leg. The ‘dum dum’ bullet hit his femural artery, exploding inside and severing it, causing massive bleeding, said Dr. Abdullah el Attar at Shifa hospital.

Life is short, the saying goes. But in Palestine that expression is literal, and everyone knows it. The demonstraters, proud and fearless, delight in being on Palestinian land rendered off-limits by Israeli authorities, going as close as possible to the fence, dressing the fence with the Palestinan flag, and dancing in the face of armed Israeli soldiers.

But does this warrant being killed, or even just maimed?

If Ahmed Deeb was like any of the Palestinian youths I’ve met in Gaza, he dreamed of freedom –the freedom of movement and of seeing places outside of Gaza –and of work –the work denied the majority in Gaza under siege.

If Deeb was like many of the Palestinian youths I’ve met in Gaza, he was not afraid to die, constantly facing death in Gaza where at any moment Israeli warplanes, tanks or gunboats can fire first and justify later. If he was like any person in Gaza, he likely felt he was already dead, living a life where it’s hand-to-mouth and not believing tomorrow will be different or dreams will be fulfilled.

But he was certainly like most Palestinians I’ve met, in all of occupied Palestine, in his samoud, his refusal to back down or shut up. No matter how many massacres, invasions, nor how long the siege.

Oh brutality, you hateful regime.

Oh humanity, you are lacking for this country.


  1. Israel was founded on the premise that either there were no people already living on that land, or that they could be somehow “done away with” or, at the least, rendered powerless. In defiance of this premise (which is such a blatant denial of Judaic values),the Palestinians as a people have been growing stronger every day. I believe that non-violent resistance, for which cause Deeb was killed, will ultimately be a major achievement in the history of the struggle for human rights.

  2. Hard to imagine that this atrocity could be any worse than it is, but learning that the Israeli soldiers were using dum dum bullets brings their conduct to a level which is pure evil. That form of ammunition has been shunned for well over 100 years as it is intended to cause great damage to the body.

    There is a part of me that wishes the same would happen to the soldier who fired the weapon, that his mother should know the pain of holding her son while his life bleeds out of his veins, but I refuse to lower myself to the level where I no longer see my fellow human as human – the Israelis do that enough for everyone.

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