By Ihab Rimawi
RAMALLAH, Thursday, January 12, 2023 (WAFA) - “Baba help me,” shouted Ramzi, 17, calling on his father, Samir Aslan, to save him from the Israeli occupation soldiers who broke into his home in Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, at dawn this morning and arrested him.
At the call of his son, Samir, 41, rushed out of his apartment on the third floor of their four-story building. When he reached the entrance of the building, the soldiers aimed their guns at him and prevented him from coming out, forcing him to return to his home.
Samir could not bear the sight of his eldest son being arrested and handcuffed knowing very well how brutal and barbaric the soldiers could be. But when he couldn’t see his son, he went to the roof of his building to watch what the soldiers were doing with his son. But as soon as he went up a wooden ladder placed on a wall on the roof, a sniper, stationed in another building located directly behind his house, shot him.
The bullet penetrated his chest and he fell to the ground. The wooden ladder fell on him. He started screaming, until his wife, brother, and sister-in-law reached him, and they began calling for an ambulance.
The three of them managed to carry him and bring him down to the street below to rush him to hospital.
They carried him with great difficulty through the alleys of the refugee camp and between the adjacent houses. At the end of one of the alleys, the occupation soldiers were present. They stopped the family and prevented them from taking Samir to the hospital. They forced them to put him on the ground where he was left bleeding for more than 30 minutes. At the time, Samir was still alive, according to his sister-in-law Nour.
In the end, the soldiers allowed the family to take Samir to the hospital, but not before they were certain that he died because as soon as Samir arrived at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, the doctors pronounced him dead.
His family says he was shot in cold blood and without any reason. He did not pose any threat to the life of the soldiers in the camp. He only wanted to help his son, who was yelling for help as the soldiers took him away.
Samir worked in a poultry shop in the camp, and supported a family of eight children, five girls and three boys, the eldest of whom is Ramzi, who was getting ready to graduate from high school this year.
His children have become orphans and have been deprived of their father. At their house, the two-year-old daughter did not seem to understand what was going on, hiding behind his mother.
Samir’s mother said he used to bring her and his elderly father, who live in the same building, their daily supplies.
"Who is going to knock on our door in the morning and ask us if we need anything?" said his mother, weeping.
Rowaa, his 15-year-old daughter, did not want to wait at home. She insisted on following his funeral procession as it went through the camp to the mosque to pray for him before burring him. She cried over his father’s body: "We need you, Baba. We cannot live without you."
On the other side, the youngest son in the family, Mohammad, 8, sat next to his father's body, touching his head, then kissing it, and saying words that were barely audible.
With Aslan’s death, the Israeli occupation forces have killed seven Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the start of the year, three of them children. Last year, Israel killed 244 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a record high in decades, according to international humanitarian organizations.