On January 9th 2016, 28 year old Said Abu Al Wafa and 23 year old Mohammad Aiqab were going to work as usual. Said Abu Al Wafa was a worker and father of four from Al-Zawia village close to Jenin, and Mohammad Aiqab, a student at Al-Quds Open University from Al-Jadida village, Jenin. The two men used to cross Hamra checkpoint twice a day. For Said it was the only way to support his family and his kids. For Aiqab the job was aimed at paying for his studies at the university. The two men were shot dead at the checkpoint on January 9th.

Hamra checkpoint 17Oct15a

In spite of the version the soldiers gave to a media reporter, stating that the soldiers had to shoot because their lives were threatened, witnesses said that the two people were stopped before entering the checkpoint, while waiting together with other workers to pass, and were asked to step out of their vehicle.  It was at this moment that they were shot in cold blood, receiving five and eight bullets each.

An ambulance came to the scene ten minutes after the shooting, but it was prevented from assisting the injured men, who were left to bleed to death. Even if the version of the soldiers was true they could have just stopped the two men without this disproportioned use of violence.

The psychological stress that Palestinian workers have to suffer every day cannot continue. The occupation army is denying them their basic human rights: the right to freedom of movement, the right to work, and the right to live. The army is playing God, choosing who is to live and who is to die.

These recent killings follow the other murders of Palestinians in the last few years at Hamra “the checkpoint of death”. These have been covered by Jordan Valley Solidarity here and here.