samedi 22 avril 2017

Three years after Israeli attack that ended their careers, ex-soccer players call on FIFA to protect Palestinian rights

Trois ans après l'attaque israélienne qui a mis fin à leur carrière, les ex-footballeurs appellent la FIFA à protéger les droits des Palestiniens

Adam Jamous and Jawahar Halbiyeh will never forget their last ever soccer practice, even if it was three years ago. It was nearing the end of winter on the last day of January — they were tired and it was late. Their hometown, in a section of occupied Jerusalem that lies on the West Bank side of the separation wall known as Abu Dis, is usually quiet by 10:30 when they were walking home. The sharp whiz of the first bullet cracking through the air came as a surprise.

Israel accused the boys of throwing stones, but Jawahar told Mondoweiss the teens did not even know there were soldiers out that night. “There were no clashes,” Jawahar told Mondoweiss. “We didn’t know there were soldiers out. The streets were quiet, they had put up a small checkpoint, but we had no warning, they just shot.”

Adam was hit, and fell to the ground, his soccer gear thumped down on the uneven road just a few blocks from home. Jawahar lifted his younger teammate and lifelong friend, following his instincts to get them out of the line of fire, only to hear more cracks of gunfire being shot toward them. Jawahar was hit several times, but fueled by adrenaline, he kept trying to drag himself and Adam to safety. Soldiers kept shooting and Jawahar kept moving. By the time Israeli forces released the dogs that eventually took the two teens down, Jawahar had been shot eleven times, and Adam three.

The gash left behind by the dog bites are still sharply visible on Jawahar’s right arm, though most people would first notice the lifted straight-lined sc...

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