6 December 2001
Palestine Media Center – PMC
Seven months-old Tamer Quzmar, from Isbat Suleiman village near Qalqilia, died on December 4th when Israeli occupation forces prohibited his mother from reaching the hospital in Tulkarem to treat her ailing baby.
According to Mr. Khaled Quzmar, a relative, baby Tamer and his mother had to cross at least two Israeli checkpoints in an attempt to seek medical treatment in Qalqilia City. Israeli occupation forces at the entrance of Habla town prohibited the mother and her child from passage despite the baby’s critical condition. They waited for over an hour in hope of appealing to the soldiers’ humanity, but to no avail. The desperate mother then tried to take bypath streets to seek urgent treatment for her dying baby, but it was too late.
The fatal incident occurred despite Israeli official claims that its occupation soldiers would allow Palestinian civilians to pass through checkpoints for “humanitarian reasons”.
Moreover, during the Israeli air strike on Gaza City on December 4th, fifteen year-old Mohamed Abu Mursa was also brutally killed. Mohamed and his classmates had escaped from the United Nations Ma’rouf Al-Rassafi School, which is adjacent to a building struck by the fighter jets, and were seeking a place to hide.
“Children were running everywhere with fear, not knowing where to go or hide”, an eyewitness recalled.
Al-Shifaa’ Hospital’s General Director, Dr. Mu’awyeh Hassanein, stated that the schoolboy was struck by shrapnel, which turned his body into scattered pieces of flesh.
Palestinian children have been the main victims of Israel’s blind and indiscriminate violence since the onset of Israeli hostilities fifteen months ago. Israeli occupation forces have continuously pursued their collective punishment policies against innocent and defenseless civilians, disregarding their age, sex, or location. Schools, homes, and hospitals have been systematically shelled and destroyed.
In a press release on December 5th, Defense for Children International (DCI) stressed, “When a Palestinian student finds their school closed or is unable to reach it because the road is closed or unsafe or staff are prevented from reaching the school, then they are being targeted by Israeli government policy. When a child's father loses his job due to the Israeli closure, then that child has been targeted by the occupation. When a child's home is destroyed because of its close proximity to an Israeli settlement or military installation, then that child has been targeted by the occupation. When a child is injured by shrapnel from an Israeli military attack while walking home from school, then that child has been targeted by the occupation. If the practical results of Israel's policies are examined, then it becomes clear that every Palestinian child is targeted by and suffers from Israeli practice in the [O]ccupied [T]erritory.”