Al-Durra Gets New Company, Rayan Suleiman, On His 22nd Memory
On September 29, only a few days after World Peace Day, the world witnessed the death of a Palestinian 7-years old boy, Rayan Suleiman, in the Palestinian Town of Tuqu. The young boy’s heart stopped beating out of fear when he found Israeli soldiers chasing his 8 and 10 years old brothers.
There are different narratives around Rayan’s death. The Israeli Defense Forces’ initial investigations show that the Israeli soldiers are not involved in the boy’s death. They claim that an Israeli soldier went to the houses of many Palestinian families in the area, including the house of Rayan’s family; searching for the boys who threw stones at some Israeli soldiers. And because they have seen Rayan’s father, with his two brothers, earlier that day outside, and the boys looked like the suspects, the Israeli soldier decided to visit the family’s house and “peacefully” talk to the father. However, Rayan’s father and uncle said that the boy was coming back home from school when he found Israeli soldiers fiercely looking for the “suspects”, and when they knocked on the door, there was a “commotion in the house and shouting”. Consequently, Rayan fell down out of fear that the soldiers might take him or his brothers.
In fact, in both narratives, the Israeli soldiers succeeded in killing the 7-years old boy. It is the widespread fear, violence, criminal acts, and human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories that implanted deadly fear in the heart of a 7-year-old boy and put him to death. It is the inhumanity of the Israeli soldiers that made them chase a “group of kids” who threw stones at them that killed Rayan.
Today, the 7-year-old Rayan escaped Israeli inhumanity and is accompanying the Palestinian 12-year-old Muhammad al-Durra, who died 22 years ago, on September 30, during the Second Intifada. Both are killed by Israeli soldiers, yet the only difference is that al-Durra was directly shot in front of the whole world, while Rayan had been dying slowly out of fear, like other kids his age living today in the occupied territories.