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Shurrab Family Returning Home from their Farm: Two Sons Killed

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On 16 January 2009, at approximately 1:30 pm, during a three hour declared “lull,” the Israeli occupying forces fired at Muhammad Shurrab (64) and his two sons, Kassab Shurrab (27) and Ibrahim Shurrab (17). They were en route in their Jeep from their farm in the Fukhara area, East of Khan Younes, to their home in the city of Khan Younes. Kassab was fatally shot in the chest and died few hours later. He left the Jeep, ran about 10 meters, and slipped, and then bled until he gave into his painful death at around 4:00pm.

The father, Muhammad, sustained a shot in his arm, and Ibrahim’s leg was wounded. Immediately after the wounds they sustained, they left the Jeep hoping to find a more secure spot to escape the firing; then they returned to the Jeep when it was calmer, though they were wounded and stranded in an area controlled by the Israeli occupying forces.

Muhammad made every attempt to call the Red Cross, NGOs and human rights organizations, pleading for ambulances to save them. These attempts were in vain, and he was unable to save his second son from dying. Ibrahim kept bleeding and died at dawn, Saturday 17 January 2009.After the Red Cross and human rights organizations pled with the Israeli side, an ambulance was finally allowed entry approximately 22 hours later to gather the injured father and his two dead sons. An ambulance collected the Shurrab family at approximately 11:00am, on 17 January 2009. 

Another son, Amer Shurrab, is currently studying in the United States at Middlebury College in Vermont. He and his friends, appealed to human rights and international organizations, including the Red Cross in Khan Younes, about this horrendous crime, of first shooting the family members, and then denying entry for an ambulance.

The message was clear and loud: the victims were three family members, dead and alive, who were in front of Abu Zidan al-Najjar Supermarket in the neighborhood of al-Fukhari, in Khan Younes of Gaza, and they needed to be evacuated by an ambulance. The Israeli occupying forces denied ambulance access.

The tragic plight of the Shurrab family is not an isolated incident; in fact, many are systematically deprived of emergency medical services. This is a clear violation of all standards of human rights.The information obtained for this report on the Shurrab family was gathered by Al-Haq fieldworkers based in Gaza.

The information was directly solicited from the sole survivor of the incident, the father, who provided a first hand account.