It had been a lovely evening. The kind of night when teenagers all over the world are thinking about nothing more than having a good time and laughing. Mahmoud Badran, 15, from Beit Ur-Tahta, had spent his Monday night with a group of friends taking a dip in the Beit Sira pool.
His cousin Ahmed Shami told reporters it was a happy few hours. “After the iftar (dinner to break Ramadan fast) we went swimming. We often go these days. School’s out, it’s hot and we like staying up until the first thread of light of a new day when we resume fasting and we go to sleep.”
After 1 a.m., Ahmed and Mahmoud accepted a friend’s offer for a ride home. “It all happened in a few moments,” continues Ahmed. “Suddenly Israeli soldiers appeared along the way and began shooting us. They did not ask us to stop, they just shot. Mahmoud was shot. We tried to help him but he died almost immediately. They were terrible moments.”
Ahmed says he will always remember what happened that night, and he will never forget Mahmoud. But will the rest of the world remember this boy, his life stolen, beyond a few hours? Or the other four young Palestinians injured, one seriously hurt, by shots fired by soldiers for no reason? Very few. To news agencies, Mahmoud it is just another Palestinian who joins a long list of names without faces. Western TV news correspondents will not bother to visit Beit Ur-Tahta to report on the agony of parents who watched their child leave the house to go swimming and then were informed of his absurd death.