23 February 2013| International Solidarity Movement, Qusra, Occupied Palestine
UPDATE : After being unconscious for 9 days, Helme who was recently shot close to his heart by an ISraeli settler , awoke on the tenth day to find a Shabak agent in his ICU unit who proceeded to interrogate him and accuse him of throwing stones. He then told Helme that he had “got what he deserved.” Helme needed to have 66% of his liver removed and still has 13 pieces of shrapnel in his body rendering him partly handicapped. On the 23rd of February Helme came out of work to find between 15 and 20 settlers around him armed with metal bars, pistols and M-16 assault rifles. A settler who was hiding behind a rock shot Helme on sight. On the orders of Netanyahu , Helme was transferred from Rafida hospital to Hadassa hospital in Israel.
Following a violent incursion by Israeli fundamentalist settlers into Qusra, two people have been hospitalized with serious injuries. Around 15 settlers from Esh Kodesh (Holy Fire) and Shilo entered Qusra, the clashes that ensued left many people injured, including a sixteen year-old boy who is currently in surgery and may lose his left eye as well as a 26 year-old man fighting for his life after being shot in the chest, by an Israeli settler. Another, 14 year-old Mustafa Hilal was shot in the foot.
At around 11am this morning settlers began attacking the village of Qusra. Armed with rifles, they attacked homes on the outskirts of Qusra, throwing stones they broke windows. The youths of the village attempted to defend their homes. In the clashes that ensued Helmi Abdul Azeez Hassan was shot by a settler, the bullet narrowly missed his heart.
Soldiers arrived on the scene and, as usual, protected the invading settlers. Clashes then continued for the remainder of the day with the Israeli military firing rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas directly at local residents. A sixteen year old boy, Osama Rami Hassan, was shot with a rubber coated steel bullet in the forehead that narrowly missed his eye. He is currently undergoing surgery at Rafidia hospital in the attempt to save it, however the prognosis is not good.
Helmi’s situation is critical; he is currently at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus fighting for his life. Doctors hope he will stabilize through the night so he can be transferred to an Israeli hospital where he can receive a higher quality of care.
A local resident explained to ISM volunteers that he cannot remember a week in which Qusra had not been attacked over the last two years. He went on to say that recently things have been getting progressively worse. Today’s assault is the culmination of events which have been evolving all week. There have been incursions in three out of the last four days. The village expects more in the week to come.