sabato 5 novembre 2016

Gideon Levy : Trenta proiettili per abbattere un’ adolescente con un coltello

 

 

 Sintesi personale

La brevissima vita coniugale di Raheeq Birawi negli Stati Uniti era intollerabile. È per questo che lei ha preso un coltello e si è recata a un checkpoint israeliano tre giorni prima del suo previsto ritorno in America?

Gideon Levy e Alex Levac 4 Novembre 2016

Voleva morire? Lei era stanca della sua breve vita coniugale, che ha avuto inizio con una luna di miele kitsch ed è continuata come un inferno a San Francisco? Aveva paura di tornare dal marito in America  che, secondo la madre, faceva uso di droghe e la picchiava? Era Raheeq Birawi – una bella 19enne dalla cittadina di Asira al-Shamaliya, vicino a Nablus, una giovane donna di una famiglia povera i cui genitori sono separati – stanca della sua nuova vita nella gabbia dorata americana? È per questo che ha preso un taxi collettivo per il posto di blocco Tapuah ? E, soprattutto, voleva o no morire?

Quando qualcuno cerca di suicidarsi, ovunque nel mondo si tenta di salvare lui o lei. Nei territori occupati, tuttavia, la situazione è invertita: le Forze di Difesa israeliane o la polizia di frontiera  sono pronte  aiutare i palestinesi – soprattutto, le donne palestinesi – a realizzare i loro piani di morte. Nel caso di Raheeq Birawi, erano particolarmente felici di farlo: i poliziotti di frontiera le hanno sparato più di 30 proiettili, uno dopo l’altro, per assicurarsi 30 volte che il suo desiderio di morte si avverasse.

La sua storia non è unica: una grande percentuale delle donne armate di coltello uccise da Israele negli ultimi mesi ai posti di blocco e alle fermate degli autobus nei territori aveva motivazioni simili.Asira al-Shamaliya è una città collinare. La casa della madre in lutto è una struttura in pietra in affitto, a un piano, con pareti umide e camere  quasi prive di  mobili. Qui la madre single Zahra Birawi vive in condizioni di povertà, e qui Raheeq è cresciuta insieme con le sue cinque sorelle e un fratello. Il loro padre, Shajia, un operaio edile in Israele, si è separato da Zahra anni fa e si è risposato. Vive anche lui in Asira.

Diverse bandiere palestinesi sono ora attaccate al portico.  Insolitamente nessuna organizzazione ha rivendicato la responsabilità per il destino di questa sfortunata shaheeda (martire). Gli aerei della Israel Air Force facevano cerchi nel cielo e un rumore assordante mentre eravamo seduti sotto il portico con Zahra che piangeva . Il contrasto tra i jet sofisticati in aria e la situazione miserabile  era eclatante.

Vestita di blu, il viso stanco e addolorato, la madre in lutto ha 47 anni. Quando ci mostra le immagini di se stessa al matrimonio di sua figlia a San Francisco, solo lo scorso marzo, è difficile riconoscerla. “La tristezza cambia la faccia”, ha detto l’investigatore di B’Tselem Abed el-Karim Saadi, che ci ha accompagnato.

Circa tre anni prima, AG, originario degli Stati Uniti  è venuto ad Asira per chiedere la mano di Raheeq dopo che le loro famiglie si erano accordate   e si sono fidanzati.All’inizio di quest’anno, madre e figlia si sono recate in California  per la cerimonia di matrimonio. L’album di nozze rivela la felicità di quel giorno
Dopo una breve luna di miele  Raheeq confidò a sua madre che il marito era cambiato drasticamente e faceva uso di droghe . . La sua vita  era diventata un inferno.. Inoltre aveva scoperto che si era già sposato, forse più di una volta

Il 21 agosto, circa cinque mesi dopo il matrimonio, Raheeq è tornata ad Asira, per le nozze di suo fratello. La madre afferma di aver notato segni neri e blu sul suo viso. Quando l’ha interrogata, la situazione è diventata chiara: Raheeq aveva paura di tornare dal marito. Zahra ha telefonato alla famiglia negli Stati Uniti, ma questa ha sostenuto che Raheeq si stava inventando tutto e che il marito non le aveva fatto del male.

Zahra non ha voluto interferire : . “Ho dato ai miei figli la libertà di avere opinioni personali  senza imporre le mie idee” . Raheeq ha deciso alla fine di tornare dal marito  domenica 23 ottobre insieme alla madre, che aveva pianificato di rimanere con lei per circa un mese. La famiglia del marito in America ha inviato i biglietti.  Il 19 ottobre, l’ultimo giorno della sua vita, Raheeq  ha viaggiato in  un taxi condiviso per recarsi a Ramallah.  Il volto della madre è pieno di lacrime. Sospira: “Possa Dio punire i malvagi.”

Verso le 11:00, il vicino di Zahra, che lavora nell’intelligence palestinese, ha telefonato chiedendo se la polizia palestinese fosse venuta a casa sua. Quando Zahra, perplessa, ha domandato perché lo stava chiedendo, quale fosse il problema – il vicino ha appeso rapidamente.Appresa la verità più tardi, ha incominciato a piangere e a gridare   Da allora Zahra non ha avuto un momento di pace.

I soldati israeliani sono arrivati ​​il ​​giorno dopo a casa del padre di Raheeq, hanno ritirato il permesso di lavoro israeliano e hanno avvertito la famiglia che, se ci fossero state manifestazioni, avrebbero demolito la loro casa. Aqeed, il fratello in lutto di Raheeq, il figlio di Zahra e Shajia, è stato arrestato questa settimana dalle  forze di sicurezza palestinesi, appaltatori ed esecutori della sicurezza di Israele, dopo un post su Facebook di un giovane della città di Tamun che   stava progettando di vendicare l’uccisione di sua sorella. Aqeed non è ancora stato rilasciato.

Raheeq è stata uccisa al posto di controllo Tapuah dalla polizia di frontiera dopo che presubilmente aveva tirato fuori un coltello e si  era avvicinata a loro.  La polizia di frontiera ha detto ad Haaretz che l’incidente è sotto inchiesta, aggiungendo che, “quando  la terrorista è stata neutralizzata, i soldati hanno smesso di sparare.”

Un’indagine interna da parte dell’IDF, pubblicata la scorsa settimana, ha rilevato  che in quattro casi, nelle ultime settimane, i i palestinesi sono stati uccisi o feriti dall'Idf o dalla polizia  in modo improprio. L’inchiesta ha rivelato che in tutti e quattro i casi si sarebbe potuto  anche evitare di sparare. Uno dei casi trattati nella relazione è stato quello dell’uccisione di Raheeq Birawi.,uccisa con più di  30 proiettili dopo aver tirato  fuori il coltello .

 La madre ha visto la foto della figlia uccisa con un coltello nella mano destra . Sottolinea che lei era mancina  e trova difficile credere che la figlia  avesse tirato fuori un coltello, e ancor meno che volesse uccidersi o danneggiare qualche soldato. “Forse le hanno sparato perché era la più bella nel taxi,”Israele ha mantenuto il possesso del corpo di sua figlia, in conformità con la pratica spregevole di impedire i funerali che potrebbero degenerare in disordini. Zahra vuole che la figlia abbia una degna sepoltura, ma non ha idea di come fare per chiedere il corpo.

E’ possibile che Raheeq abbia voluto morire per non tornare dal marito in America? “No,” Zahra afferma. “Amava la vita. Ed era una credente. Anche  in America  ha continuato a pregare Dio. E' impossibile che volesse morire “.Appena due settimane prima di essere uccisa, Raheeq aveva festeggiato il suo 19° compleanno.Il marito non è venuto ad Asira e lui e la sua famiglia non hanno nemmeno parlato con la madre per telefono  E ancora una volta lei borbotta: “Dio, punisci i malvagi, punisci i malvagi.”

Gideon Levy Haaretz Correspondent

 

 

 

 

Did she want to die? Was she tired of her short married life, which began with a kitschy honeymoon and continued as a hell in San Francisco? Was she afraid to return to her husband in America, who, according to her mother, used drugs and beat her? Was Raheeq Birawi – a pretty 19-year-old from the town of Asira al-Shamaliya, near Nablus, a young woman from a poor family whose parents are separated – tired of her new life in the American golden cage? Is that why she took a shared taxi to the Tapuah checkpoint in order to end her life? And, above all, is it even important whether or not she wanted to die?
When someone tries to commit suicide, everywhere else in the world, including security forces, try to save him or her. In the occupied territories, however, the situation is reversed: There’s nobody like the Israel Defense Forces or the Border Police when it comes to helping Palestinians – mainly, Palestinian women – carry out their death plans. In the case of Raheeq Birawi, they were especially happy to do so: Border policemen fired over 30 bullets at her, one after another, to make sure 30 times over that her death wish would come true. Her story is not unique: A large percentage of the knife-wielding women killed by Israel in recent months at checkpoints and bus stops in the territories had a similar background and motives.
Asira al-Shamaliya is a hilly town. The home of the bereaved mother is a rented, one-story stone structure, with damp walls and rooms that are empty of almost any furniture. Here single mother Zahra Birawi lives in poverty, and here Raheeq grew up together with her five sisters and a brother. Their father, Shajia, a construction worker in Israel, separated from Zahra years ago and is remarried. He also lives in Asira.
Several Palestinian flags are now taped to the porch; a death notice was issued by the town council. Unusually, no organization has taken responsibility for the fate of this unfortunate shaheeda (martyr). Israel Air Force planes circled in the sky and made a deafening noise while we sat on the porch with Zahra, whose tears kept flowing. The contrast between the sophisticated jets in the air and the miserable situation here was egregious.
Dressed in blue, her face tired and grief-stricken, the bereaved mother is 47. When she shows us pictures of herself at her daughter’s wedding in San Francisco, just last March, it’s hard to recognize her. “Sadness changes one’s face,” said B’Tselem investigator Abed el-Karim Saadi, who accompanied us.
About three years earlier, A.G., a U.S. native whose family has its roots in East Jerusalem, and who owns a cell phone store in San Francisco, came to Asira to ask for Raheeq’s hand after their families agreed to the match, and they got engaged.
Early this year, mother and daughter traveled to California. First they spent a month in Sacramento with the groom’s family, and then they went to San Francisco for the marriage ceremony. The wedding album reveals a colorful picture of a different reality: the couple in their wedding finery, the happy mother of the bride, dressed up and elegant, dancing in a hotel banquet hall, a fairy-tale event.
Zahra says that at first she actually liked her daughter’s groom. After the wedding, she returned to Asira, while the young couple spent their honeymoon in Hawaii. But the honeymoon was very short-lived. After they returned to California, Raheeq told her mother that her husband had changed drastically. Raheeq, whose name means “nectar,” became a battered woman. Her life became a hell, according to her mother. Her husband took back the gold jewelry he had given her for their wedding, selling it so he could buy drugs. Once she was even hospitalized, because of pills her husband gave her, according to Zahra.
Raheeq wanted to become a modern woman, and asked to learn to drive, but her husband forbade it. He is 34 years old and only recently did Zahra learn that he was previously married, perhaps even more than once. For his part, his mother, Raheeq’s mother-in-law, suspected that she was flirting with his brother, her brother-in-law. Raheeq was alone in her distress.
On August 21, about five months after the wedding, Raheeq returned to Asira, for her brother’s nuptials. Her mother says that she noticed black and blue marks on her face. When she questioned her, the situation became clear: Raheeq was afraid to return to her husband. Zahra phoned his family in the United States, but they claimed that Raheeq was inventing everything and that her husband hadn’t harmed her.
Zahra didn’t want to interfere, and didn’t try to tell her daughter what to do. “I gave my children freedom, without forcing my opinion on them,” she says when asked whether she tried to pressure Raheeq not to return to America. Raheeq decided in the end to return to her husband, with whom she had spoken only a few times during her trip home. In one conversation, he promised her that he would allow her to learn to drive, if only she would come back.
Raheeq was scheduled to return to San Francisco on Sunday, October 23, together with her mother, who planned to stay with her there for about a month. The husband’s family in America sent the tickets.
On October 19, the last day of her life, Raheeq woke up in her father’s home. She went out to the drugstore, and returned to her mother’s house and told her she was going to Ramallah to do some shopping for the trip and to get some documents. Raheeq traveled by shared taxi from Asira to Nablus, where she boarded another minibus to Ramallah.
The mother’s face is full of tears. She sighs: “May God punish the wicked.”
At about 11 A.M., Zahra’s neighbor, who works in Palestinian intelligence, called and asked whether the Palestinian police had come to her house. When Zahra, perplexed, wondered why he was asking that, what the problem was – the neighbor quickly hung up. Minutes later Shajia, her estranged husband, called from his place of work in Taibeh and said his wife had told him that she heard that something bad had happened to Raheeq.
He said that his new wife had tried to call Raheeq, and an unfamiliar voice answered her. Shajia asked Zahra to contact the Israeli-Palestinian coordination headquarters to find out what happened to their daughter, but Zahra, helpless, didn’t know where to call.
Once again she mutters to herself and weeps silently. She goes on to say that meanwhile, her brother called and told her that there were rumors that Raheeq was killed at the Tapuah Junction. She says now that she started shouting and crying. People began to gather around the house and then she understood that the rumors were true. Since then Zahra hasn’t had a moment’s peace.
IDF soldiers arrived the next day at the home of Raheeq’s father, confiscated his Israeli work permit and warned the family that if there were demonstrations, they would demolish their house. Aqeed, Raheeq’s bereaved brother, the son of Zahra and Shajia, was detained this week by the Palestinian security forces, Israel’s security contractors and executors, after a post on Facebook by a young man from the town of Tamun mentioned that he was planning to avenge his sister’s killing. Aqeed has not yet been released.
Raheeq was shot at the Tapuah checkpoint by Border Police after she allegedly pulled out a knife and approached them. A video clip showed her lying on the road, with the echoes of repeated shots being fired in the background. The Border Police told Haaretz that the incident is under investigation, but nevertheless stated that, “from the moment that the terrorist was neutralized, the fighters stopped firing.”
An internal investigation by the IDF that was published last week noted four cases in recent weeks in which Palestinians were killed or wounded, during which soldiers and Border Police acted improperly. The investigation revealed that in all four instances, those forces could even have refrained from shooting altogether. One of the cases covered in the report was that of the killing of Raheeq Birawi. The report notes that the border policemen fired over 30 bullets at her after she pulled out the knife and walked toward them.
Zahra has not seen the video posted online in which the policemen are seen emptying their magazines on her daughter, even as Raheeq lies in the road. Zahra only saw the picture of her daughter’s body and her blurred face. The mother adds that in the picture there’s a knife in her daughter’s right hand, but notes that she was left-handed. Zahra finds it difficult to believe that her daughter pulled out a knife, and even less that she wanted either to kill herself or harm any soldiers. “Maybe they fired at her because she was the prettiest one in the taxi,” she says.
Israel has retained possession of her daughter’s body, in accordance with the despicable practice of preventing funerals that could escalate into riots. Zahra wants her daughter to have a proper burial, but has no idea how to go about asking for the body.
Is it possible that Raheeq wanted to die in order not to return to her husband in America? “No,” Zahra asserts. “She loved life. And she was a believer, even in America. She continued to pray to God. There’s no chance that she wanted to die.”
Just two weeks before she was killed, Raheeq celebrated her 19th birthday.
Her husband didn’t come to Asira after his wife was killed, and he and his family didn’t even speak to the bereaved mother by phone when she was mourning. And once again she mumbles: “God, punish the wicked, punish the wicked.”


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