Soldiers Kill Protester Essam Oudah After a Settler Attack on the Village of Qusra

Essam Kamal Abed Badran Oudah, 34, was shot in the chest from a short distance by Israeli soldiers, after the army attacked a peaceful march in the village of Qusra, east of Nablus. He died of his wounds shortly after.

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The village of Qusra was invaded by a large group of settlers from the nearby outpost of Esh Kodesh (Holy Fire), built entirely on land stolen from the village. The settlers converged on land they want to claim for themselves, and set up an Israeli flag there, guarded by Israeli soldiers. As villagers gathered to protect their land, the soldiers stood between the settlers and villagers, shooting tear-gas at the villagers' peaceful march as settlers retreated. The soldiers quickly moved on to rubber-coated bullets and then to live ammunition.

The body of Essam Oudah at the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus
The body of Essam Oudah at the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus

As a result of the soldiers' violence, several injuries were caused. Sixteen year-old Mohammad Oudah was shot in the stomach with a tear-gas projectile. Rami Hassan, 35, was struck by 4 rubber-coated bullets. Sameeh Hassan, 24, was hit in the crotch with a rubber-coated bullet.

At some stage, the soldiers moved on to shoot live ammunition at the protesters. Essam Oudah was shot with a single bullet from close range. According to Dr Sameh Abu Zarohfrom the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, the wound shows Oudah was shot from below. The bullet entered the right side of Essam’s chest and exited through the top of his back, fracturing his vertebrae in multiple places.

As the sun set in Qusra, two teenagers stumbled into the village before collapsing to the ground in pain. Both Amar Masameer, 19, and Fathi Hassan, 16, were arrested earlier in the day as they tried to make their way towards Qusra’s burning olive trees.

Hours later, they were released and returned to the village dripping with blood and with faces so swollen they were barely recognisable.

Once arrested, Fathi Hassan explained, settlers from the outpost had asked the soldiers detaining them for permission to beat the two boys. The soldiers did not interfere and so the settlers began stoning the boys while their hands were cuffed behind their backs. Amar Masameer was hit directly in the eye with a stone thrown from just a few meters and is now in Rafidia hospital awaiting treatment.