Idier Wahid Taysir al-Heib

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Sergeant Idier Wahid Taysir al-Heib ... a Bedouin citizen of Israel ... shot and killed Tom Hurndall



Taysir el-Heyb, the oldest of six children, was born in July 1983 and lived most of his life in a small, rickety hut with no bathroom. The Israel Lands Administration (ILA) recently razed the hut, saying it had been built without a permit. His father worked as a day worker in agricultural jobs until he became ill, first physically and then mentally, and became unable to support the family. His mother worked cleaning homes in Moshav Migdal, whose luxurious homes are just a few hundred meters away from the Wadi al-Hamam huts that are on the brink of collapsing. A few years ago, she also became ill sick and, like her husband, had to stop working.

Taysir's sister Amira also cleaned homes in Migdal, until her enlistment. Since then, her parents' monthly National Insurance Institute allowance of NIS 2,500 has been the family's only income.

A few years ago, before Amira, Walid and Taysir enlisted and before the ILA razed the hut where they lived, the family started to build a two-story house. In the course of its construction, the parents became ill, stopped working and had to halt the construction. The ground floor still has exposed concrete walls. On the second floor, where they now live, the walls were covered in whitewash, long since peeled, the windows are broken and there are hastily improvised electrical wires hanging exposed and dangerous. Most of the rooms do not have finished floors. Apart from few plastic chairs and an old and empty refrigerator, there is no furniture in the house - no beds, no tables and no closets.

The family sleeps on mattresses on the floor and the few clothes they have are piled in cardboard boxes. The father, whose illness has cut him off from reality and is therefore unaware that his son has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term, roams the rooms all day long, staring at the walls and windows.

The three younger children in the family, who are 14, 16 and 18, have never been to school. "I never had money to buy them books or notebooks," their mother says, adding that the State of Israel's welfare authorities have never asked her why her children are not in school. Taysir did go to school. "Until seventh grade, he went to the school in the village," says Mahmoud Wahib, his uncle, "but it's impossible to say that he learned anything there. He never had books and he never had supplies. Today he barely knows how to read and write in Arabic and he doesn't know how to read and write in Hebrew at all."

From the age of 13 until he joined the Israeli Army, he worked in a metal shop in Tiberias. His enlistment was not a given. The psychological tests determined that his skills were very close to the lower limit, the cutoff below which potential enlistees are not eligible for military service: Colonel Aviram made sure to write in his verdict that el-Heyb "was given a psycho-technical rating of 10 (on a scale of 10 to 90) and was rated 43 in the quality group (on a scale of 42 to 65)." Despite these figures, the IDF agreed to induct him and to send him to serve as a fighter in the desert patrol brigade, known as the Bedouin brigade." Events involving Idier Wahid Taysir al-Heib:

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