Two years after he was permanently paralyzed by Israeli forces, Harun Abu Aram, 25, a resident of Masafer Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday morning, February 14.
Abu Aram was a resident of Khirbet al-Rakeez, a small hamlet in the South Hebron Hills, or Masafer Yatta, as it is known locally.
In 2021 Abu Aram was shot in his neck at point blank range by Israeli soldiers during an army raid on his village. Abu Aram was shot after he attempted to prevent soldiers from confiscating a communal generator.
Abu Aram was paralyzed as a result of the shooting, and suffered a series of lung infections and other health problems that caused him to spend months in and out of hospital.
Eventually Abu Aram’s arteries in his right leg sustained blockages that resulted in the amputation of his leg. According to Palestinian health officials, he was also suffering from “severe pressure ulcers in the back and pelvis, and severe infections in the lungs.”
In January 2021 Israeli forces raided the home of Abu Aram’s neighbor and attempted to confiscate the generator that powered both families’ homes, under the pretext that it was “illegal”.
Because the families’ homes fall inside the boundaries of an Israeli army ‘firing zone’, the army prevents them from building, or accessing any sort of infrastructural networks, including water and electricity. This includes access to generators to power the small, ancient caves in which they live.
Shortly after the soldiers arrived, Harun’s father, Rasmi had run down to aid his neighbor, who was attempting to take back hold of the generator. Israeli forces scuffled with Rasmi and his neighbor, striking the two with several blows. Harun ran down to his father’s aid, and began pulling the generator back from the soldiers.
During the scuffle that ensued, which was fully captured on cellphone video, an Israeli soldier put his gun to Harun’s neck and shot him. According to Harun’s family, Israeli forces refused to call an ambulance to the scene. When the family and neighbors attempted to evacuate Harun to a hospital, the soldiers shot at the tires of their vehicle.
By the time Harun was able to reach a hospital, a few hours had passed, and doctors informed his parents that he had suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Though he survived, he became paralyzed from the neck down.
Following the shooting of Harun, who was completely unarmed at the time, the Israeli military
conducted an internal investigation, in which it concluded that the soldiers acted in “self defense” and that they faced a “clear and present risk to their lives.”