Name: Mohammad M.
Date of incident: 18 June 2012
Location: Gaza Strip
Nature of incident: Fatality
On 18 June 2012, a 17-year-old boy and his 19-year-old friend are killed as they walk towards the border fence between Gaza and Israel.
On 18 June 2012, M.O. met his friends Mohammad and Yousif at a cafeteria to watch a football game. “Yousif started talking about a friend of his who sneaked into Israel through the border fence and found a good job,” remembers M.O. “I really wanted to sneak into Israel to find a job. Yousif suggested we go to the border fence east of the camp and check things out. We agreed to jump the fence if things were calm,” continues M.O.
At around 11:00 pm, the three boys decided to walk towards the border. “We arrived about an hour later and stood on a high hill overlooking the border fence. We saw two Israeli jeeps patrolling the border. We were about 150 metres away. Once the two jeeps went away, the three of us started approaching the border. I was behind Yousif and Mohammad because I was really scared and hesitant,” says M.O.
When the three boys were about 15 meters from the border gunfire erupted. “An intense shootout began with shots coming from all directions. I could not figure out which way it was coming from because it was too dark. The number of shots was overwhelming. ‘Get down,’ Yousif shouted. I got down and saw Yousif and Mohammad lying down on the ground about six metres in front of me. The shooting lasted for about five minutes and remained very intense. Then, I heard an explosion in front of Yousif and Mohammad. I was so scared I buried my face in the ground so no one would see me,” M.O. recalls.
“A second huge explosion hit the area behind me and I felt something hit my left foot,” he continues. After a third and fourth explosion, M.O. had no choice but to try and crawl to safety. “I crawled for about 150 meters and reached some houses near the border. [...] I tried to walk but my left foot was hurting me a lot.”
After staying hidden until around 4:30 am, M.O. made his way back to the camp and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for shrapnel wounds to his left food. “When I got home, I was told that both my friends had been killed in the incident. Their bodies were found dismembered.”
19 June 2012