I want justice for my brothers who Israel killed | Opinions

At dawn on November 29, heavily armed Israeli soldiers again raided the occupied West Bank village of Kafr Ein, just a few kilometers from where we lived, in the village of Beit Rima.

They started firing tear gas, rubber bullets and live bullets at the locals. My brothers Thafer and Jawad joined other youths in defending the community, throwing stones at the soldiers. This cost them their lives.

The first Israeli soldiers shot my brother, Thafer. Later, when Jawad ran to help him, Israeli soldiers also hit him with an explosive bullet.

At 5am, my mother woke me up screaming that Israeli soldiers had wounded Jawad and Thafer, who were taken to the hospital in the nearby town of Salfit. Jawad was rushed into surgery, with arteries and intestines destroyed. Thafer needed to be transferred to another hospital in Ramallah, where a thoracic surgeon could operate on him.

My mother stayed with Jawad while I boarded the ambulance with Thafer. My brother bled to death right in front of my eyes and while our priority was to keep him alive, everyone in the car was trying to find a route with no military checkpoints. If we encountered a checkpoint, we would be stopped by Israeli soldiers for questioning and risk killing my brother as we waited to get through.

When we arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later, my mother called me to tell me that Jawad had been declared dead. Thafer had no pulse and doctors performed CPR on his lifeless body, but despite their efforts, he tragically died.

I remember my mother telling me on the phone, “Jawad is gone. Jawad is dead. He is no longer alive. Please tell me Thafer is fine. I can’t lose both,” she pleaded. That’s when I realized that Thafer would never wake up either. How can he? He never left Jawad’s side. We lost both. My brothers and sisters will never come home.

For the foreign media, this is yet another “flash” in the West Bank, the victims are unknown, unnamed Palestinians. But these clashes are in fact asymmetrical confrontations in which youth and children, with stones and slingshots, face off against one of the most powerful armies in the world. Many, like my brothers and sisters, paid the price with their lives.

Some outsiders asked why Palestinians would throw stones when they knew they could be killed for it. Instead, the question should be: What would you do differently if you were born into a brutal occupation and endured its abuse for the rest of your life?

The atrocities of the Israeli army make up my earliest memories. I remember the killings of Israeli soldiers, I remember our family fearing that our house would be bombed, I remember hearing gunfire and explosions at night, I remember walking by through Israeli snipers stationed on the roof or under the barrel of Israeli soldiers.

When I was three years old, the Israeli army raid our village with tanks and helicopters; Five people were killed and several houses destroyed.

When I was five years old, Israeli soldiers burst into our house, arrested and blindfolded my father in front of us. Jawad, then four years old, hid behind me and cried.

Those horrifying moments never left me and my brothers. All Palestinians who have lived under the longest military occupation in modern history have experienced them.

When you witness injustice, bereavement, and war, do you have any choice but to try to protect yourself because you know that no one else will?

To say that I lost my brothers on November 29 is not enough. I have lost my best friends, my beloved people, two wonderful boys with kind souls, sincere, beautiful in every way. Now me and my family will wake up every day for the rest of our lives without them.

Jawad graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2021 with the dream of opening a business. Thafer’s dream is to travel the world.

But because they are boys born in Palestine, their lives are always in danger. Jawad was killed at the age of 22 before starting his own company, and Thafer, at 19, has never left the country.

I am a doctor and before November 29 I dream of becoming a pediatrician. It seems trivial now that the Israeli occupation has murdered my brothers.

But in this dreadful darkness, I choose to seek the light. I choose to believe in humanity and in the human urge to speak out against oppression. I dream that those who read this will demand justice for Jawad and Thafer and for the Palestinian people.

The killing must stop. The world loses a lot of potential every time a young, intelligent and caring individual is brutally murdered by the Israeli army. Palestinians deserve to live in dignity without being oppressed, and without constantly losing their loved ones.

Those who killed my brothers must be held accountable. The Israeli occupation must end and its war criminals must be brought to court. How many more tragedies does the world need to see in order to act?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.

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