By Amna Shabana
Despite the fact that Israeli leaders repeatedly commit crimes against humanity, their hearts still possess some human traits, such as having goals and ambitions. However, their aspirations are of different nature.
An image that might come to one’s mind is a group of Israeli leaders happily cherishing their achieved goals at the end of the year, bragging about the number of Palestinian youths they have managed to murder, and vowing to kill more.
If that is a goal fulfilled at the end of each year, it was outdone this year. The number of Palestinians who have been slain by Israel in the occupied territories since the start of 2022 reached 224, 48 of whom were children, whether young or old. According to the United Nations, 2022 is the deadliest year for the Palestinian people since 2005.
Stories of Palestinian young men and women who have been trying to fulfill their dreams and aspirations in several fields of life went viral after they were martyred in several areas of the occupied territories throughout the year. Their death was mourned before their art, goals, or even everyday life endeavors were crowned.
The lofty aspiration of the Palestinian young woman Donyana al-Amour was to fight for a life full of flowers and colors. Since her childhood, Donyana, from al-Fokhari village, eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, was a talented artist. She mastered creating her art works uniquely and joined the faculty of Fine Arts in the Al-Aqsa University.
Donyana was few months away from her graduation during the three-day Israeli aggression on Gaza. On the 5th of August 2022, the Israeli aerial strikes targeted her while she was in her room at home.
In spite of the fact that Donyana led a solitary life, her brother Asim said that she was a great storyteller who used to gather with the family after preparing tea in order to describe her latest drawings with a cheerful tone and amusing anecdotes. Asim concluded that “all that Donyana cared about was her family, her drawings, and her flowers,” wondering why does she have to be killed.
Later in November, the lives of two Palestinian siblings were claimed by the live bullets of Israeli occupation forces. The two young men were dedicated to defending the occupied Palestinian territories against the Israeli aggression. “They didn’t want to die in bed,” family sources reported.
Jawad, 22, and Dhafir, 21, from Beit Rima town northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah did not only confront the Israeli raids into their village, but they also stepped up their efforts to defend the nearby villages against Israeli raids.
The siblings Jawad and Dhafir succumbed to serious injuries in the chest and the pelvis on the 29th of November during an Israeli military raid into Kafr Ein village north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.
“My two sons are gone,” the bereaved mother wept on learning about the death of her two sons, according to a video that went viral. “Why do we raise our children? To see them cold-bloodedly murdered?” she helplessly questioned her right to cherish the life of her grown-up sons.
Not only resistance activities pose danger on the Palestinian youths’ lives, but an act as simple as waiting on parents and fetching their needs is a grave risk for a Palestinian young man.
On the 2nd of December, 22-year-old Ammar Muflih from Usarin village in the Nablus district left his family’s home to get medicine for his sick father. While Ammar was crossing the road of Huwara, a Jewish settler attempted to run over him. Yet he survived.
According to a video circulating on social media, an Israeli soldier tried to arrest Muflih after he survived the ramming attack, but he slapped the soldier in the face not surrendering to being detained. The soldier assaulted him and shot him at point-blank range. Instead of getting the medicine for his father, he was killed and his body is still detained.
Grasping each opportunity to shed the blood of Palestinian youths, Israel murdered the Palestinian young man Ahmad Daraghmeh on the last few days of the year.
23-year-old Daraghmeh, a footballer from Tubas, was shot dead on the 22nd of December during an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Nablus. Daraghmeh was a professional football player who played as an attacking midfielder with Thaqafi Tulkarem football club.
The manager of the team, Sabah Sabah, mournfully told local sources that football players are honored and celebrated around the world, yet in Palestine they are only killed by Israel.
Palestinian youths’ stories are as countless as the Israeli killings. Despite their death, their aspirations and dreams will always be vividly narrated.
– Amna Shabana is a PIC writer.