On the first day of Ramadan, Ahmad was missing at the Al Atrash family Iftar meal. Israeli occupation forces shot Ahmad dead in the old city of Hebron/Al-Khalil last Friday afternoon. Instead of putting up Ramadan decorations and lights, his family hung his photos on the walls of the house.
Ahmad Al Atrash was 29 years old. The Israeli authorities had released him in late 2020 after spending six years in prison. When his family celebrated his release, they didn’t expect this to be a farewell time to say an appropriate goodbye.
On Friday 1 April, Israeli occupation forces shot teargas, sound grenades and live ammunition toward protesters and Palestinian youths, instigating clashes near the old city of Hebron. During this aggressive incursion, an Israeli sniper shot Ahmad in the head. The community rushed him to ‘Alia hospital, where his death was announced shortly after.
I imagine the person who had to inform his family that Ahmad won’t be joining them for Ramadan this year either. But this time is different; he is gone, forever. You won’t need to go to his room to wake him up for Suhoor [the early morning meal before the fast], you don’t have to cook his favourite meal, and you don’t have to handle his jokes anymore.
This week alone, Israeli occupation forces murdered 10 Palestinians. Many media agencies claim that Israel is defending itself. At the same time, these agencies support the resistance of the Ukrainian people, promoting their rights to protect their lands and independence. Truly, I don’t understand how these agencies, countries, and organizations have the audacity to support some people’s right to resist while also supporting another colonial and apartheid state.
I may be furious, and you should be too. Nothing is too complex here. It is your duty to call out racism and support people who are fighting for their freedom and life with integrity.
Let’s pray for justice for the lives that have been taken away and for peace for those who remain. May we work together to dismantle the structures of racism and violence until all people are free.
Rest in Power, Ahmad.