Father of dead boy seeks international revenge

AMMAN (Jordan), Oct 5 (AFP) - The critically injured father of the 12-year-old Palestinian boy killed in bloody clashes in Gaza exhorted the world community from his hospital bed on Tuesday to help him avenge his son.

Jamal al-Durra made the appeal in his first interview with an international news agency, a day after undergoing surgery to remove Israeli bullets from his arm and his pelvis that have left his right hand paralysed for life.

"I appeal to the entire world, to all those who have seen this crime (on television) to act and help me avenge my son's death and to put on trial Israel," Durra, 37, told AFP as he struggled to control his emotions.

"I also plan on taking Israel to the international courts and ask that the criminals responsible for the death of my son be punished," he said.

The incident was captured by a French television cameraman and shown all round the world, evoking reactions of shock and horror, including from US President Bill Clinton.

The disturbing film showed Mohamed stricken with fear and crying as Jamal tried to shield him. The pair were huddled against a wall, desperately trying to take cover.

The last picture showed the boy slumped dead over Jamal. The Israeli army admitted Monday that it could have fired the shot that killed the boy.

A construction worker and father of seven, Jamal is recovering at Amman's military Al-Hussein Medical City and received on Monday visits by King Abdullah II and senior royal family members who offered their condolences.

He was flown Sunday to Jordan while Mohamed was buried at home in Gaza.

Doctors in Jordan have said Jamal will have permanent paralysis in the right hand and that he is suffering from psychological trauma from seeing his son die in his arms.

"It is the worst nightmare of my life," said siftly, shaking his head. "My son was terrified, he pleaded with me: 'for the love of God protect me Baba (dad). "I will never forget these words.

I did everything I could to shield him and I prayed and prayed, in vain, that the soldiers would not aim at us," he said.

"But they fired at us in a premeditated fashion and unrelentlessly," he said. On that black Saturday Jamil took Mohamad, had taken his second eldest son on a shopping expedition to look for a car in Gaza.

"I heard gunshots and parked the car. We got out and walked until we met four or five Israeli soldiers who were firing their guns indiscriminately at a group of Palestinians further down the road," he said.

"We sought refuge behind a barrel and a block of cement but we soon found ourselves caught in the Israeli crossfire," he said. As the shooting became more intense, Jamil raised his arm to better shield his son, sparing him at least one bullet that lodged in Jamil's elbow, paralysing his arm.

"My son was first hit in the leg and then a deadly bullet struck him in the stomach and when he slumped over against me I fainted for a while and then I came to and used my portable phone to call an ambulance," he said.

"The first ambulance that came for us came under Israeli gunfire," he said, adding that they had to wait for another ambulance to rush them to hospital but it was too late.

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