The life of Nasir Musbih — a 12-year-old Palestinian martyred by Israeli troops Friday during the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations — is like a summary of the region he lived in.
Born in Gaza in 2006, a year before Israel imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the area, his brief life ended when an Israeli soldier shot him in the head.
In 2012, when Nasir was a fresh primary student, the region echoed with shelling and gunfire. Two years later, he faced Israeli attacks on Gaza together with his family, friends and neighbors.
In a geography dominated by weapons, blood and tears, Nasir managed to achieve a great deal in his short life.
In addition to being one of the best students at Abdulkerim Kermi Primary School in Khan Younis city, he was a Quran hafiz.
He left behind a grieving family and friends.
Nasir’s weeping classmates have great difficulty with their lessons; tears and grief prevail at the school nowadays.
A classmate, Ziya Abu Hatti, burst into tears as he told Anadolu Agency about Nasir.
“He was my best friend; the best,” Ziya said.
“We would always help each other in English and health lessons. We would call him ‘Abdussamed’, as his voice was good. He used to help people in health teams near the border protests. I would always tell him to stay away from the fences so that he wouldn’t be another kid killed by the Israeli soldiers.”
Kamal Najjar, 50, a science teacher at Abdulkerim Kermi Primary School, said Nasir was a successful student interested in the science lessons.
“He wanted to be a surgeon when he grew up. He couldn’t fulfill his dreams,” he said, noting that Nasir was one of the star students at the school.
Nasir’s family can’t help crying when they look at his belongings.
“He was a lot more different than my other children,” said his mother, 41-year-old Simah Musbih.
She broke into tears while recounting how Nasir had recited Quran over the school’s PA system and during prayers at the mosque.
“He always wanted to see Palestine on the other side of the border. He insisted on attending the demonstrations. He would go to the protest area each week and voluntarily help sisters in first aid teams.”
Accusing the Israeli snipers of deliberately targeting her son, she said: “My son was just a child helping the injured during first aid [activities]. He posed no threat or danger. What sort of threat could a 12-year-old child pose against soldiers fully equipped with modern weapons and armor, leading to him being shot in the head? They have to prove it.”
Last Friday, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians taking part in the ‘Great March of Return’. Seven, including Nasir Musbih, were martyred and 90 others were wounded.
With Nasir’s death, the number of Palestinian child martyrs since March 30, when the anti-occupation protests began, has reached 34.
Protesters — who have been staging demonstrations since March 30 — demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of basic commodities.
According to the Health Ministry, more than 180 Palestinians have been martyred and thousands more injured since the rallies began some six months ago.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara