From the Tel Rumeida Archives: 1 July 1995, The Murder of Ibrahim Idreis

To show our readers what the new settlement expansion on Tel Rumeida indexmeans–what it means to have more Israeli settlers on Tel Rumeida with more Israeli soldiers to guard them, we will be running releases from our archives on Facebook and our blog in the coming weeks.  The following never appeared on CPTnet (or at least there is no record of it having done so), but appears in the history of CPT’s work in Palestine:  As Resident Aliens: Christian Peacemaker Teams in the West Bank: 1995-2005 (Cascade 2010) pp. 24-25.

“The murder of Ibrahim Idreis”

On July 1, 1995, witnesses from the Tel Rumeida neighborhood told the team that Hebron settler Baruch Marzel and an Israeli soldier had assassinated sixteen-year-old Ibrahim Khader Idreis.  During breakfast, the extended family ran out of bread and sent him to buy more at a shop around the corner.  He slipped on his aunt’s shoes for the trip, which were several sizes too small.  Palestinian witnesses said that the boy refused to stop when Marzel called to him and was subsequently shot once in the leg and once in the chest.  A soldier then shot him again in the stomach.

The Israeli military told an uncle visiting from the U.S. that his nephew had attempted to stab a soldier, but soldiers produced no knife as evidence.  When Idreis’s uncle picked him up to take him to the hospital, he saw that the shots to the leg had nearly amputated it below the knee.  The boy died in the car on the way to the hospital.  The IDF refused to allow family members to enter the hospital to see the body.

Lehman, who went to investigate after the incident, saw soldiers and settlers laughing together as one settler, Noam Federman pushed a baby stroller through a large smear of the young man’s blood.  The team watched that evening as settlers gathered outside an apartment building in the Old City and toasted the soldier who had shot Ibrahim Idreis (according to Palestinian residents who were providing translation).

Two days later, Lehman interviewed the uncle, Yunis Idreis, who had held Ibrahim in his arms as he died.  He said the family had not responded as quickly to the gunshots as they might have otherwise, because they never dreamed Ibrahim would be a target.  If he were going to attack someone, the uncle asked, why would he do it in broad daylight, in front of a soldier camp and in shoes four sizes too small?  He told the CPTers that he did not think people would believe his story when he returned to his home in Seattle,Washington.[1]

[1] See two reports written by Wendy Lehman, “Israeli settler and soldiers assault Palestinians, one killed,” and “Uncle of slain Palestinian teenager talks about attack,” July 3, 1995. The comment regarding how people would respond in Seattle is from author’s memory.

As Resident Aliens is available from the CPT website.