By Gideon Levy
Contributed by Fatima
"......On Friday, July 27, the family awoke as usual, the mother of the family went for a family visit and Jihad planned to travel to the university. Nothing in the house testified to what was to take place a short time later. Jihad, like the rest of his family, had never been arrested.
At 9:30 A.M., Jihad left the house and walked the several hundred meters to the taxi stand near the road to Bethlehem. His father, who was at home, says that Jihad took nothing with him. But the armored Hummer was already standing at the side of the road, several dozen meters from the taxi stand. There is almost always a Hummer standing there, a kind of surprise roadblock for the village's residents, where soldiers check papers, harass and humiliate, and maintain proper order on the road.
As Jihad stood alone at the stand, the soldiers apparently called him to approach them. A Palestinian policeman, Musa Suleiman, was riding to Bethlehem at the time in a taxi that was approaching the stand. Suleiman saw Jihad walking "with ordinary steps, in a manner that did not arouse any suspicion," toward the soldiers. He says that Jihad had nothing in his hands.
One soldier stood next to the driver's door of the Hummer, and another three soldiers sat inside. When Jihad reached the Hummer, Suleiman says he saw the soldier grab Jihad by the shirt and pull him forcibly behind the vehicle. Suleiman, who was already about 20 meters from the vehicle, says that apparently an argument broke out between Jihad and the soldier who grabbed his shirt, which developed into a violent struggle between the two. A few seconds later he saw them both sprawled on the ground.
That's when the other three soldiers got out of the Hummer. Suleiman heard two shots. The four soldiers, according to Suleiman, began beating Jihad, who was sprawled on the ground. They used wooden clubs and their rifle butts, while Jihad tried to protect his head with his hands. That was all Suleiman saw, because the taxi, which was traveling slowly, then passed the Hummer.
When the taxi was a few dozen meters away from the area of the beatings, it drove back to see what was happening behind the Hummer. Suleiman says that the soldiers continued to beat Jihad. He saw the club land on Jihad's head at least twice. "I felt that these were fatal beatings," says the policeman Suleiman. He says that Jihad was no longer moving. Suleiman rushed to Jihad's house to alert his father: "Come quickly, the soldiers are beating your son." Accompanied by Suleiman, he rushed in the direction of the stand.
When they approached the area, the soldiers aimed their weapons at them and ordered them to leave. One of the villagers who speaks Hebrew, who also arrived at the spot, tried to explain to the soldiers that Khalil was the father of the battered young man, and all he wanted was to know what had happened to his son. And then the soldier said: "Tell him that his son is already dead."....."