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“I Am But One Casualty in the Much Wider Conflict”: Shot Palestinian American Student Speaks Out

HeadlineNov 29, 2023

Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian college students shot in a likely hate crime in Vermont, has released a statement from the hospital. Awartani, a Brown University student, said, “It’s important to realize that this is part of the larger story. … I am but one casualty in the much wider conflict. Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services that saved my life would likely have been withheld by the Israeli army.”

On Monday evening, Brown students interrupted a talk by university President Christina Paxson at a vigil for the shot students, calling for the school to divest from weapons manufacturers including Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Textron.

At the Ramallah Friends School in the occupied West Bank, which was attended by all three shooting victims, students and staff reflected on the tragic incident. This is Leen Alshehab, a senior at the school.

Leen Alshehab: “As Ramallah Friends School students, we’re horrified by the recent attack that targeted three of our beloved Ramallah Friends School alumni and friends. As Ramallah Friends School students, we call upon international communities to conduct a full and thorough investigation on this attack. And we call upon for this attack to not be dismissed or ignored by any means. Today, as students, we’re wearing the hatta as a symbol of — or the keffiyeh, as a symbol of — solidarity with our friends and for their families, as well.”

Click here to see our interview with the head of the Ramallah Friends School, now general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee here in the United States, Joyce Ajlouny.

On Tuesday, Vermont Democratic Senator Peter Welch called for an indefinite extension to the ceasefire in Gaza. Welch’s fellow senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, has yet to call for a permanent ceasefire.

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