The Murder of Ahmad by the IDF in Hebron

On July 3, 2007, soldiers of IDF Brigade Commander Yehuda Fuchs murdered the 14-year-old child Ahmad Mohsen Al-Skafi in Hebron. After I called the family last weekend to ask them about the incident, I was shocked not only because of what the family told me, but also by the complete decline in the level of professionalism among the journalists in the area of conflict. The measures of the IDF to restrict the work of Palestinian journalists hinder them in fulfilling their important mission in the Palestinian cities. IDF commanders declare the places where they intend to commit crimes as “military zones” and then arrest any journalist who reaches these areas of conflict under that pretext. It is very important for the occupation regime of the IDF to cover up the evidence of the daily crimes of their soldiers against unarmed civilians, specially the children who they kill for no reason but “fun”. This incident was reported previously, but the reports, also on the Internet, were based on the lies of the IDF.

According to the wishes of the Israeli occupational regime, the IDF spokespersons should be the only sources which supply the local and the International media with news about IDF “activities” in Palestinian cities. The IDF press releases are usually based on lies, rumors and innuendo, and they always seek to “justify” the crimes of the IDF against Palestinians.

The Execution of Ahmad Mohsen Al-Skafi
At about five in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 3, 2007, troops of Colonel Yehuda Fuchs assassinated Ahmad Mohsen Al-Sfaki and declared the area near their crime a military zone in to hinder the access of journalists. All this happened in Lossah, a part of Eissa, a suburb in the south-west of Hebron near Wadi Taffouh in area H1 under the Palestinian control. Ahmad had gone to a nearby supermarket to buy chocolate and some sweets for Isra’a, his younger sister of age 4. The soldiers watched Ahmad on his way to the supermarket, and when he got out they showered him with 30 bullets and a grenade, which exploded in his abdomen, blowing out his intestines. The soldiers then sent their dogs to eat part of the body.

The IDF spokesperson invented lies and spread rumors in his press release. He said that Ahmad was playing with a toy gun which looked like a real one when the IDF shot him … That he ran away when the IDF soldiers asked him to stop … That the military commander sent his apologies to Palestinian officials after the IDF troops found out that the boy was holding a toy gun and not a real one …

Ahmad’s father and grandfather were very angry about the lies of the IDF. They strongly denied the concoction of lies which the IDF spread. They said: “Ahmad did not hold a toy gun; the IDF soldiers killed Ahmad after he got out of the supermarket where he was buying some chocolate for his sister”. According Ahmad’s father Mohsen Al-Skafi, the IDF soldiers had been hiding during four days in the abandoned Al-Taweel building located between their house and the small supermarket where Ahmad had gone shopping, (they were there Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday). During these days the IDF soldiers saw Ahmad coming and going from his home over 30 times, they knew him. Ahmad was buying the things from the supermarket all the time in front of the IDF. Ahmad’s grandfather, Mr. Abed Al-Rahem Al-Skafi told me that the IDF soldiers killed Ahmad on purpose, they shot him with 30 bullets and grenade, and released the military dogs to eat his body. They invented the story that that Ahmad was carrying a toy gun. In fact Ahmad was buying chocolate, and the IDF soldiers always invent stories to mislead the public and to justify their crimes. Ahmad is not the first innocent victim of the IDF soldiers, and he will not be the last one, said Mr. Abed Al-Rahem.

[ahmad]Ahmad Al-Sfaki in the ER (Pic Credit: Al-Sfaki Family)

Execution or Revenge?
I asked Ahmad’s grandfather why the soldiers would have killed Ahmad on purpose? Mr. Al-Skafi answered that he has two sons sentenced to life in Israeli jails: “Joseph was sentenced to 4 times life and Ala’a to 27 years. Colonel Yehuda Fuchs knew that when he sent his troops to our neighborhood. The IDF soldiers themselves know this as well, and since the IDF troops came to hide themselves in the abandoned building of Al-Taweel, they must have planned to kill somebody. They killed Ahmad, 14 years old boy, as a revenge on his uncles. This is the mentality of the IDF criminal soldiers.” This is a crime, said the grandfather of boy. Ahmad’s father Mohsen was crying during the conversation.

Mr. Mohsen Al-Skafi has only two sons. Ahmad, who was murdered by the IDF soldiers, and Abed Al-Rahem, who is still attending secondary school. He also has two girls. He owns a small vegetable shop at Al-Zahed in the Heret Al-Sheikh area, the old part of the city of Hebron. Mr. Mohsen Al-Skafi is a poor person; he was not able to let his two sons, Ahmad and Hamed, attend school. The younger brother, Ahmad, stopped attending school in order to help the father in the shop, but the IDF soldiers murdered him, and so killed the father’s dream of a better future for all the family.

The IDF “apologies” were refused
Ahmad’s grandfather, Mr. Abed Al-Rahem, said that he wanted to file a criminal complaint against the IDF soldiers who killed Ahmad under the pretext that he had been carrying a toy gun. He said: “We refuse the IDF apologies. Our son was not an insect who can be killed in such a barbaric way for nothing.” He added that “the apologies of the IDF reflect their recklessness about the lives of human beings in our nation. Our children and our nation should be protected under the International laws.” Mr. Abed Al-Rahem asked: “What does the apology of the IDF mean? Will the words of their apology bring us back our child? Will their words of apology put an end to the killings of the Palestinian Children? Will their words of apology put an end the Illegal occupation?”.

Mr. Abed Al-Rahem asked me to follow the case of his murdered child here in Europe. He said: “You are presenting the Palestinians victims everywhere you go, we authorize you to file a complaint in The Hague against the IDF, who killed my grandson as well the other Palestinian children, we will provide you with all the necessary papers which you need”.

Ahmad’s Mother
Ahmad’s mother Naemah expressed her deep pain over the death of her son: “I was not able to see my son, to look at him or to give him a last kiss. They didn’t allow me. I lost my Ahmad in one second, and I can’t believe that I have lost him. His life ended very early and very quickly. He went to buy chocolate for Isra’a but he did not return”. Naemah cried while she told me the story.

Why didn’t you kiss your child after his death? I asked her. She cried and told me that Ahmad had been executed in a horrible way, that he had been shot in each part of his body. “I was not allowed to see him, to see the horrible way in which the IDF criminals killed him. They showed me part of his face for one second and they took him away very quickly. I could not believe that Ahmad was dead. He was a very quite and normal boy, he loves laughing and playing. He never eats anything without leaving part of it for me and his smallest sister Isra’a.” Naemah said that she was not informed once of her son death. “The people were calling and asking about somebody from the Al-Skafi family who was killed nearby. It did not occur to me that he was my son. I was not counting on that, I knew that the IDF soldier were stationed near our house since four days, but I thought they had killed somebody from the family nearby. Then more people called us, again and again. The victim was my young son Ahmad”, she said and cried.

Lossah, the neighborhood of Eissa
Ahmad was executed by the IDF soldiers in the South-West of Hebron. Lossah is a neighborhood of Eissa. This area is normally very quiet and beautiful. Lossah is an agricultural area in the middle of the beautiful nature. It is surrounded with grape fields, almonds trees, plum gardens. Lossah looks down over some springs, mountains, wadis and valleys. My father had planted fruit trees at Eissa and in the gardens of Lossah. When I was a child I went with my father to these gardens. I loved to see the birds singing and flying early in the morning in the area. I loved looking the bird’s nests on the highest trees. I never thought that the IDF troops would pollute the beauty of the nature at Eissa, contaminate it with the putrid stench of their crimes.

Open Questions

  • Why did Yehuda Fuchs send his troops to Eissa? Did he give a direct order to his soldiers to murder Ahmad ?
  • Why does the IDF commit crimes everywhere in the city of Hebron ?
  • What has the IDF achieved by murdering Ahmad?
  • Were the IDF troops in big danger when they killed this child? How will they explain this ?
  • Why did the IDF troops not try to arrest the child instead of murdering him?
  • Did the IDF troops execute Ahmad on purpose?
  • Did the IDF troops execute Ahmad, or was this murder revenge against his family?
  • Why should the Palestinians tolerate the presence of the occupation troops and witness their crimes 24 hours a day?
  • Why does the international media apply different standards of reporting to the crimes of the IDF and to the legitimate resistance of the Palestinians ?
[ahmad] [ahmad]

The ER report of Ahmad in English and Arabic, furnished by the Al-Sfaki family.

Eyewitness of IDF Terrorism
Until 2002 I was eyewitness of the IDF terrorist activities in the Palestinian cities. I saw, and I observed this several times, how the IDF troops killed people and sent their dogs afterwards to disfigure the bodies of their victims. The IDF would never approach the bodies of their victims before having sent their dogs to confirm the death.

[ahmad]Golani with Dogs in Hebron, 1998

In some cases I saw the IDF explode the houses of Palestinian families of what they called “wanted persons” over their heads using dynamite, they would then send their dogs to drag the bodies out. The IDF then shot at the bodies after the dogs had dragged them out of the ruins. The IDF soldiers always behave as coward, and they are scared of the bodies of their victims even after the death.

The family of Ahmad Al-Skafi wants justice. They have no chance of ever achieving justice before Israeli courts, as these courts boiling over with racist hatred will never allow any Palestinian to win a case. The Al-Skafi family wants to bring this case before a court which will give them justice. They want, if possible, to have this case heard at the ICJ in The Hague. They want the support of the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon or any other international authority to lodge a criminal complaint against Israel. It is the wish of the Al-Sfaki family that the death of their son will help bring to an end the impunity of the zionist genocide against Palestinians, that it will help raise the awareness about the crimes of Israel around the world. If you can help them in any way, please contact the family.

Their phone number in Hebron, Palestine, is + 9 7 0 5 9 9 7 3 0 5 6 1,
and they also have an Email, m h l 6 1 @ h o t m a i l . c o m (remove spaces).

The Al-Sfaki family speaks Arabic and English. Please respect their mourning if you contact them.

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