Rami*, never walk without your helmet!

When Rami walked out of his home to accompany his father he was full of joy. For him, it was a rare chance to be with Dad who is at work from early morning till late in the night seven days a week.

Proud of joining his father at the market, he forgot to take his protection helmet, his anti-bullet vest and his machine gun. No one told him that this tiny little square, highly crowded with kids, had turned into a battlefield. He hoped that that evening he would not only enjoy the company of his father, but also bring back the football he had always dreamed of.

How he became a target for some Israeli kids, dressed in military uniforms, nobody knows. Rami was very confused about the ongoing game. The only thing that appeared real to him were his fatherís screams for mercy and his arms wrapped around him.

The strange speedy objects whistling near his ears were annoying, yet he felt pain when one of them crushed the bones of his left leg. On the other side, there was a smile; someone had achieved a direct hit on the target. What was the colour, the speed of the bullet that forced the last breath out of Ramiís little chest? Only the young Israeli kid in the military uniform can tell.

We are all sorry, Rami. We tried to prepare a place for you to be a kid, not a victim, and we all failed. Until all warriors pay due respect to your little soul, I am not going to be interested in peace. I only knew about you and the killing bullet at the same time.

Written by Ghassan Andoni, director of the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement Between People. Reproduced with permission from their website

* RAMI is any Palestinian Kid who is trying to live. The real name of the murdered boy is Mohammad Al-Durra.

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