Gaza Strip – Risma Abdelqader is in denial over her 18-year-old son’s death.
Israeli soldiers shot Bilal al-Ashram, who was completing his last year of high school, in the head while he was participating in protests in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
With tears streaming out of her swollen eyes, Risma described her first-born child as her “whole world”.
“He was my support system,” she said. Bilal was the eldest of her eight children and held the family together in the absence of her husband, who has been working in Jordan for the past six years.
Risma said she tried to prevent Bilal from participating in the mass protests along Gaza’s eastern border along the highly militarised fence with Israel.
The rallies, which have been ongoing since March 30, call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to the homes and villages they were forcibly expelled from to create the state of Israel 70 years ago. This ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias in 1948 is known as the Nakba – or catastrophe – and is commemorated annually.
‘Nothing would happen’
While some 750,000 people we