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Women's voices: Fatima A. - Soldier violence


Name: Fatima A.
Age: 47
Location: Kafr Qaddum, West Bank
Date of incident: 5 February 2016
Nature of incident: Soldier violence

On 5 February 2016, a 10-year-old girl in the village of Kafr Qaddum is shot with a rubber bullet while watching television inside her home.

In 2012 the village of Kafr Qaddum commenced holding weekly demonstrations against nearby Israeli settlement activity and the closure of the main entrance to the village by the military in 2003. Each Friday protesters march to the blocked entrance to the village. Fatima lives in Kafr Qaddum with her husband and children. Her children range in ages from 16 to 4-years-old.
“Our house is located close to the entrance of the village. Whenever there are clashes between soldiers and our village the tear gas and rubber bullets hit my house.”
“On Friday, 5 February 2016, I was with my children on the roof of our house. Shortly after the weekly protest had finished we noticed a number of soldiers sneaking through the fields close to our house. When I saw this I took the children and went inside the house. I feared that there might be more clashes close to our house.”
“Once inside we turned on the television and tried to distract ourselves from the sound of clashes outside. Suddenly the window in the living room was smashed. When I looked at the window I saw a small hole and then my 10-year-old daughter, Ayat, started to scream that something had hit her. I ran to Ayat and lifted her T-shirt and saw blood coming from her upper arm. I then told my husband to call an ambulance.”
“When the ambulance arrived the soldiers prevented it from coming close to our house. The ambulance then had to go to another part of the village where we could reach it by crossing a number of olive groves. My brother carried Ayat and started to run across the field to get her to the ambulance. Meanwhile Ayat started to bleed more because of the movement but it was the only way we could reach the ambulance. It took us about 15 minutes to reach the ambulance.
“At the hospital the doctors told us that luckily the window had slowed the rubber bullet that hit Ayat otherwise it could have been much more serious. Ayat remained in hospital for two days.”
“After the incident Ayat now hides behind a door or a couch whenever there are clashes with soldiers in the village. She has become hysterically scared. We now take her out of the village every Friday before the clashes to calm her down. The incident has affected our whole family. We are now more alert and nervous.


keyword: Violence against women