27 November 2010 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza
Khalid Ashraf Abosita, 22 years, is in a critical condition after being shot by the Israeli Offensive Forces in Beit Hanoun, a city on the north-east edge of the Gaza Strip. He is currently hospitalized in Shifa hospital in Gaza City. At 6 pm, more than three hours after the assault, Khalid was trembling all over his body and was still losing a lot of blood. The bullet hit his left calf, fractured the bone and exited his leg again. According to the hospital doctor he was in an unstable state.
Equipped with a horse carriage, Khalid tries to make a living as a scrap collector. He married eight months ago and is trying to establish a family. However, living conditions in the border areas are tough: a recent Save the Children UK questionnaire reported that 73% of households near the buffer zone live below the poverty line, compared with 42% of the general population in Gaza. Like hundreds of men and youth, collecting stones, metal, pieces of concrete, and brick in the border areas–under the eye of Israeli snipers in the control towers–is the only way of making an income.
This afternoon Khalid was roughly 500 meters away from the fence when suddenly two shots were fired. The first one hit Khalid in the lower leg while the second bullet hit his horse in the neck. His friends who were collecting rubble in the neighborhood came to the rescue him and carried him close to Eretz border where an ambulance picked him up.
“Khalid has been working in this area for the past seven months. I’m sure the soldiers know him, but they shot him without warning”, says his elder brother.
When Khalid recovers from the assault, it is likely that he will have lost his source of income as the horse was left in an uncertain condition at the place of the attack.
Ma’an also reports that a 12 year old boy was mildly injured by a gun wound in the foot earlier today while working as a scrap collector in the northern border area. His identity remains unknown and the boy had already left the hospital when ISM volunteers arrived. This brings the total number of IOF buffer zone attacks to 12 within this month alone.