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We Palestinians are garbage: no one cares about us, say cousins of murdered boy

Interviewed by the BBC, the cousins of 16-year-old Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir respond to his kidnapping and murder by Israeli settlers.

BBC interview: Dimah and Sumood Abu Khdair, cousins of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, respond to his kidnapping and murder by Israeli settlers, 2 July 2014

Dimah: They took him at 3.30 in the morning while he was waiting for prayer. They took him. They killed him. And they burned him.

In the morning, we woke up to police guarding the settlements. No man woke up thinking, let me go run to the settlements and let’s attack these settlements. No, they already had it in their mind that they were going to protect these settlements. Before it was even confirmed that it was him, they were already protecting these settlements, and these people that took our cousin, killed him, they’re protecting them - the murderers.

What does that tell you about the laws? The laws, they don’t care about us. They don’t care about Palestinians. We’re second-class citizens. We’re not considered citizens. We’re garbage. They killed us. One down, 5 million to go, right. Less than 5 million. Every day there’s a murder and they go and protect their settlements. So yeah, we’re mad. We’re upset. We’re throwing rocks. That’s all we can do is throw rocks. That’s our reaction. We’re upset.  

Sumood: Five thousand prisoners – Palestinian prisoners - in their jails. And three of them, […] killed them and we all know it’s a play from Netanyahu to kill all these kids! Your aim is kids? Kids? Kids? That’s sick.  

Dimah: A child from its mother was almost kidnapped two days ago in front of my uncle’s store. Thank god our community is strong enough to protect this woman and her child. Unfortunately, it was 3.30 in the morning when this kid got kidnapped in front of the mosque. No one saw him. There was a few people that saw him, but they got away before they could help. Because it was 3.30 in the morning. And they know it’s Ramadan. They know it’s Ramadan. They took him during Ramadan.  

Sumood: What would a kid do to you? He’s a kid. 17 years old. What can he do to you? To all your weapons, your sick things, your sick settlements? They are settlers, they are just killing us, living in our land and killing us. That’s sick. 

Dimah: Stolen property and stolen children. Now they’re stealing our kids and killing them. Our kids. Not adults. Not people that are: Hey I’m pro-Palestinian, I want... No, children that haven’t even passed the Tawjihi yet. Let them get into college. Let them live life a minute before you go and kidnap them and kill them.

No one cares. The media doesn't. Obviously, you’re talking to me, you’re part of the media, but there’s something crazy going on. But for the most part, no one talks about the Palestinian situation, the Palestinian case. It’s quieted, it’s shushed because most people support the Israeli government. No one cares if six people are missing, 10 people die, two kids are kidnapped, 10 women are killed. No one cares about Palestinians.

Sumood: We’re nothing.

Dimah: We’re nothing.

Dimah and Sumood Abu Khdair, cousins of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, interviewed BBC Radio 4 Thursday 3 July 2014. Transcription Carrie Giunta.

More on this story:

  • When is murdering children not murder? When the killer is the state of Israel
  • The West's hypocrisy when Palestinian life is disposable but Israeli life is sacrosanct
  • One Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days for the past 13 years