In the army chasing children – Al-Ghad newspaper

Ha’aretz
Written by: Hajar Shezaf 10/1/2022
In front of Ryan Suleiman’s house, a young boy stood holding a picture of Ryan. “They were looking for young children. They went into the street and looked for the young children,” he said angrily. In the house of the grieving family, there was a 10-year-old girl, a relative of the family, who said that she had seen the soldiers in the street from the beginning. “The soldiers ran after me,” she said trembling. She circled among the women of the family in one of the rooms of the house and wrapped herself in a Palestinian flag. Her mother, who was sitting there, said that the girls were in the house of the Suleiman family, and that the soldiers entered the house and showed her a text in Arabic that said there were children throwing stones and that they look for them. . She tried to oppose their entry, saying there were only women in the house. They went in and searched for ten minutes. They were carrying guns and the little girl started crying out of fear,” she said.
Rayan Suleiman, who will celebrate his eighth birthday this month, died last week while storming the town of Tekoa. Soldiers searching for children said they threw stones. His father and grandfather are lying in the backyard of the house. No one was watching the moment he collapsed. According to his family, he was a healthy child and his heart stopped because of the fear he felt when the soldiers arrived at the house. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the cause of death was cardiac arrest. According to dr. Mohamed Ismail, an expert in paediatrics, said the child was in good health and had no health problems. The report of the analysis of the body has not yet reached the family, but while the circumstances are still not entirely clear, his death brings out one clear fact, namely that Palestinian children live in a terrifying situation, in which the army storm their homes. and is present on their streets and near their schools It is routine.
Yasser Suleiman, Rayan’s father, said his son returned from the village school, where he studies in the second grade, on Thursday after a joint and festive banquet was held for the class’s children. “He was satisfied,” says the father. Minutes later, around eleven o’clock in the afternoon, Yasser heard his son screaming as he stood on the window of the house’s second-floor parlor, looking out over the street. “He shouted that the army was after children,” he said. Yasser added that he reached the window where his son was standing and saw three soldiers knocking on the doors of the neighbors’ houses; Since many of them are not members of his family, and they entered some of these houses. A soldier was heard shouting at his sister, who lived next door.
When the soldiers knocked on the door of his house, Yasser came down to them. “The soldiers said they wanted my children to come down, and they were the ones who threw stones in the street,” he said. According to the father, he told the soldier that his children did not throw stones. The soldier called him a liar. He called his two sons, Khaled and Ali, 12 and 11, and they went downstairs. According to him, the soldiers questioned his two sons for ten minutes outside the yard of the house and accused them of throwing stones. When the boys said they did not throw stones, the soldiers insisted that they did.
After the soldiers left, the father left his house and went to his sister’s house to find out what happened there. While he was there, a neighbor called him and told him that his son was lying on the ground near the back gate of the house. He got there quickly. “I saw Ryan lying on his face. I carried it in my hands and did not feel his pulse. I screamed to get a car. We sprayed water on his face, but he didn’t move.” They took him to the local clinic and from there to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “On the way we saw the soldiers. We stopped and I told them it was because of them. One of the soldiers shouted at me and signaled with his hands that it was not about him,” said the father.
According to Yasser, no one saw the moment his son collapsed. No one knows if there were any soldiers on the scene when it happened. He also said he wasn’t sure at what stage Ryan entered the arena. What he clearly knows is that his son was afraid of the army. “Because of fear, he became a martyr,” he said. “A few weeks ago, Ryan woke up in the night when the army entered the neighborhood. He came to me and woke me up, and my father said, The army is here,” he recalled. The funeral was attended by the boys from Ryan’s class and teachers. “He really loved school, books, sports and writing. I still can’t believe it doesn’t exist. I think I’ll go downstairs and find him there, at home. Rayan’s bedroom is plain, the walls are bare, and there are three beds for Rayan, Khaled and Ali. The father said his two brothers also do not understand and do not yet realize that their brother will not return.” An IDF spokesman said that “last Thursday, a number of suspects threw stones at civilians in a major traffic axis near the village of Tekoa in the Etzion Brigade area. Army soldiers searched for the suspects who fled to the village. During the inspection, there were no confrontations, and no weapons or means of dispersing the protests were used. From the initial investigation, it was found that no connection was found between the death of the minor and the activities of the army in the area. The circumstances of the minor’s death are being investigated.”

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