Daniel Nuwara holds a portrait of his slain brother, Nadim.
One month ago, 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara was fatally shot in cold blood by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank town of Beitunia.
“My dream of seeing my little son a grown man by my side will never come true. His death came too soon,” Nadim’s father Siam Nuwara says.
But with no justice system available for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, Nuwara has launched a public campaign and petition called “No Visas for Killers” to urge the US and Europe not to allow Nadim’s killers to travel into their territory.
There are already more than 20,000 signatures on the petition.
This brutal end to a young life was caught on security cameras and by CNN, along with the fatal shooting of Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, 16, and the serious wounding of 15-year-old Muhammad al-Azzeh.
Siam Nuwara took the agonizing decision for his son’s body be exhumed for an autopsy that proved beyond doubt that the teen was killed with live ammunition.
Human Rights Watch has called the shootings an “apparent war crime.”
Siam Nuwara mourns over his son Nadim, shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper on 15 May. (Yotam Ronen / ActiveStills)
Siam Nuwara’s explanation of his campaign is moving and tough to read, and worth reading in full. Like the voices of so many other parents of children murdered by Israeli forces, his must be heard:
My dearly loved Nadim was murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers. He was only 17. My dream of seeing my little son a grown man by my side will never come true. His death came too soon.
But his killing was caught on security cameras for the whole world to see. Watching how my son was killed is so painful – you see Israeli soldiers joking and laughing as if they were making a hunting bet while firing at prey, and then they shoot. The film is extremely painful to watch, but could bring justice.
Before my child was killed I was so happy to watch him grow up into a strong young boy. He helped me with everything, he was such a loving son, and he was so sweet to his mother and sister. He never walked into the house without giving us all hugs and kisses. He filled the house with laughter and happiness all the time. I based so much hope on him. Beautiful, innocent, amazing and well-behaved.
But suddenly, in minutes, time stood still in the hospital fridge at 2:30 AM as I dressed him for the last time. I looked at him with such sorrow. I couldn’t believe my little angel was dead. The next day I had to lay him in his grave and the pain was unbearable. My heart ached for my wife, daughter and little baby boy, Nadim’s youngest brother, who was crying “I want Nadim!”
I was lost and couldn’t believe that my son, the love of life, my little boy with the most beautiful smile in the world, the athlete, the sweet animal lover won’t be by my side ever again. I never expected that I would ever walk into the house, his room, and not find him there.
It has been a month since my boy was killed. Now I am suffering more than ever because we have to take his little body out of the grave for an autopsy to show the truth of what happened to him because Israel denies that he was killed by a live bullet, even though I found the bullet in his blood-drenched school backpack that he was wearing when he was shot.
I want justice, I believe in justice, and I will pursue justice for my son with all that I have left. I write today in the hope that all the people in the world who believe in the goodness of humanity and who believe in justice will help me achieve it. But I also know that the Israeli system is not just. Israeli soldiers have killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, but in the last 14 years only six soldiers have been charged with wrongdoing, and the toughest sentence imposed on any of them was seven and a half months in jail.
The soldier and commanders who murdered my son may never be imprisoned for their crime. But my friends have told me that countries around the world ban those responsible for violence from entering their countries. I don’t want my son to be another number, and I want to make sure no family suffers like ours is suffering now. If you help me we could make sure those who killed my son are banned from Europe and the US until we can push for real justice.
I plead for your help in this. I want to make sure the criminals who killed the joy of my life know that they cannot go on murdering children. And I need you on my side to ensure that humanity prevails.
With hope and determination,