27 Nov 2023

Reward announced for giving information about those who shot Palestinian students in America

A reward of 10,000 US dollars will be given to anyone who provides information about who shot three Palestinian students at a university in America.

This reward has been announced by an American group working for Muslim civil rights.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has appealed to the administration to also investigate the possible 'motive of bias' in this shooting. This group claims that 'there has been an unprecedented increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hatred.'

Three Palestinian college students—Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ahmed, and Kinnan Abdalhamid—were shot on Saturday evening in Burlington City, Vermont, US. The students, who had just visited a relative in Burlington for the Thanksgiving holiday, were walking on Prospect Street when they were confronted by an armed white man. 

The victims, two of whom are US citizens and one a legal resident, were subsequently taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for treatment.

As per the police statement on Sunday, "Two are stable, while one has sustained much more serious injuries." The assailant, described as a white man with a handgun, fired at least four rounds without uttering a word and is believed to have fled on foot. Notably, two of the students were wearing keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves.

Two students sustained torso injuries, while the third suffered injuries to the "lower extremities." Authorities currently lack additional information regarding the suspect's motive, and the investigation is in its early stages.

Burlington police recovered ballistic evidence from the shooting, which will be submitted to a federal database. The FBI expressed readiness to investigate the incident. However, as of now, the shooter or shooters remain unidentified and at large.

Treat the attack as a hate crime: Families of victims

In a joint statement, the families of the victims urged law enforcement to treat the attack as a hate crime, emphasizing their commitment to justice. The victims were identified as Hisham Awartani (Brown University), Kinnan Abdalhamid (Haverford College), and Tahseen Ahmad (Trinity College), according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

Witnesses said they heard gunfire

Two witnesses said they heard gunfire last night in Burlington and were jolted by the violence.

Machara Renz, a graduate student at the University of Vermont, and Alexander Wehr, who works at a nearby middle school, had just gotten back from dinner when they heard gunfire.

"We heard four gunshots," Renz said today near the scene of the shooting. "We looked at each other and we confirmed" the sound was gunfire, she said.

War has sparked heated protests and fiery rhetoric at college campuses

This incident occurs against the backdrop of increased tensions and hate crimes in the US since the conflict between Hamas and Israel on October 7, with Israel responding to the attacks with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.

The war between Israel and Hamas has sparked heated protests and fiery rhetoric at college campuses. Jewish and Muslim students have been forced to confront violent threats.

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