On Saturday night in Burlington, Vermont, three college students who were reported to be of Palestinian heritage were shot and injured while on their way to a family meal.
Wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh
The victims were identified as Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ahmed, and Kinnan Abdalhamid, undergraduate students at Trinity, Haverford, and Brown by Husam Zomlot, the chairman of the Palestinian embassy to the United Kingdom. Each of the victims was wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh when they were attacked, according to Zomlot on X, the previous XYZ platform. However, investigators have not yet publicly discussed a potential motivation for the triple shooting.
We have reason to think that the shooting was motivated by the three [victims’] Arab ethnicity, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee noted in a separate post on X.
The three victims spoke Arabic and wore kuffiyehs. A man harassed and yelled at the victims.
Just before 630 p.m. on Saturday, three persons were shot close to the University of Vermont campus, according to a well-known news channel. For medical attention, the victims were brought to the University of Vermont Medical Center.
Police had not yet named any suspects or made any arrests as of Sunday. Public was asked to stay away from the area by the authorities.
A $10,000 reward is being offered by the Council on American Islamic Relations (Cair) National for any information which results in identifying and apprehending of the criminal or culprits.
In a statement, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders described the incident as “shocking and deeply terrible.” Three victims’ families released a statement together.
In the statement, we demand that law enforcement launch a comprehensive investigation and consider this as a hate crime. We won’t feel at ease until the gunman is apprehended and prosecuted.
renowned local affiliate of the news platform Channel Three did not identify the three gunshot victims, but it did confirm that they are all Palestinian heritage.
The victims were identified and described as graduates of the Palestinian high school in a Facebook message released by the Ramallah Friends School.
With Hisham having been shot in the back, Tahseen in the chest, and Kinnan suffering from minor wounds, we offer our condolences and best wishes for full healing to them and their families, the message stated. “We hold them in the light and feel glad that they are still alive, but we are still uncertain of their health.
Basil Awartani claimed in a post on X that his cousin Hisham Awartani was shot and that the incident was a hate crime. He said that the victims were singled out because they wore kuffiyehs and spoke Arabic.
My cousin Hisham was shot in the back while out on a stroll in Burlington with his pals for no other reason than that he spoke Arabic and wore kuffiyehs. Written by Basil Awartani. Real lives are lost as a result of US politicians and pundits’ dangerously theatrical rhetoric and ongoing dehumanization of Palestinians.
My cousin Hisham was shot in the back while out on a stroll in Burlington with his pals for no other reason than that he spoke Arabic and wore kuffiyehs. Written by Basil Awartani. Real lives are lost because of US politicians and pundits’ dangerously theatrical rhetoric and ongoing dehumanization of Palestinians.
The claims of the circumstances surrounding the shooting coincide with a purported increase in antisemitism and Islamophobia in the US following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza in October.
From early October to early November, 1,283 reports of bigotry and requests for assistance were received by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), a 216% increase from 2022.
Antisemitic incidents increased by almost 400% in 2023, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Additionally, the number of hate crimes against Jews reported to the New York Police Department in October was 214%.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee president Michael Tuchin was the target of a Thanksgiving protest that the Los Angeles police department was looking into as potentially being a hate crime. The demonstrators, according to the authorities, sprayed fake blood and detonated smoke bombs on the property.
The shooting on Saturday happened a little over a week after a man was allegedly shot and injured while hawking Muslim items outside a mosque in Providence, the capital of Rhode Island.
The Muslim community in the area is uneasy since police haven’t provided any information regarding suspects or a probable motive since the shooting, the Providence Journal said.
Wadea Al-Fayoume, 6, was killed in October in Illinois, according to references made by Zomlot on Saturday. Because Al-Fayoume’s family was Muslim, the landord was suspected by the authorities of killing the child by stabbing him to death and seriously injuring his mother.