‘They Stepped on My Injured Foot’: A Young Gazan Speaks about His Pain on the National Day of the Palestinian Wounded

Adam Imad Salim, 19, was shot by an Israeli soldier while he was taking part in the Great March of Return. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On the occasion of the National Day of the Palestinian Wounded, The Palestine Chronicle met with a young man from Gaza, who was injured in 2018.

Adam Imad Salim, 19, was shot by an Israeli soldier while he was taking part in the Great March of Return, at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel. 

The March of Return was a form of popular resistance involving tens of thousands of Palestinians in besieged Gaza, which lasted for nearly two years. Over 300 Palestinians were killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli snipers during this period.

Salim, 19, now lives in the Shati – Beach Camp –  at the outskirts of Gaza City. He told The Palestine Chronicle that when he was younger, he enjoyed swimming in the Mediterranean and he spent hours every day playing soccer with his peers in the refugee camp.

When he was shot by an Israeli soldier, he was only 15. He describes the moment he was shot: 

“When the first bullet penetrated my leg, I tried to put pressure on the wound and escape to a safer area. But a second bullet shot by an Israeli sniper hit me on my right foot,” Salim told The Palestine Chronicle.

“I remained motionless on the ground for several minutes. A number of Israeli soldiers crossed the separation fence and arrested me,” he added.

Salim recalls how the Israeli military held him in custody in the Ashkelon prison for about 14 days, despite the fact that he was injured. Salim also says that he was often denied medical treatment and that he was held under difficult psychological conditions. 

“At one point, one of the Israeli guards at the hospital assaulted me, by repeatedly stepping on my injured foot. He was insulting and cursing me while I was in extreme pain.”

The National Day of the Palestinian Wounded is commemorated on March 13 of every year. It was designated as such by late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on March 13, 1968. 

(Text: Mohammed Rafik. All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

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