A Year and a Half After Being Shot by Israeli Soldiers, He Lies Paralyzed in a Cave

Israeli soldiers shot Harun Abu Aram point-blank when he tried to prevent them from confiscating a generator. The army claims the soldiers’ lives were in danger, and no one was punished. Now Harun languishes on the floor of his family’s cave, paralyzed from the head down

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First, one’s eyes have to get used to the dim lighting in the cave. Then, the picture reveals itself in its full horror: On the floor lies the body of a human being, motionless, his legs raised up on a plastic chair, his head wrapped in a towel, his eyes shut. He lies like that for most of the day, perhaps sleeping, perhaps just lacking any will to open his eyes. He has been lying like that for months – and will probably remain like that forever. His father wipes the sweat from his face, a tube siphons off phlegm from his throat, a towel is wrapped around his groin, a blanket covers his body. The sight is awful. After the initial shock – because, nothing prepares you for the awfulness – the compassion, and the inevitable frustration, comes a feeling of rage against a state that abandons a victim of its soldiers like this without taking any responsibility for their being so trigger-happy.

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