Aqil Srour , a hero equal to a thousand others, was born on the 24th of April 1972 and raised in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. His mother died when he was only one year old and he and his 3 brothers and 2 sisters were raised by Aqils father. During the first intifada Aqil was taken to Israeli Zionist military jail in 1994 where his father died without Aqil being able to meet him one final time.
The hero Aqil dedicated his entire life to the struggle for freedom from Israeli Occupation for his people and he was arrested on five occasions by the Israeli Occupation Forces. The first time he was arrested was during the first intifada in 1994 and this arrest led to him spending four years in Israeli military prison. His last arrest was during the struggle against the segregation barrier in Ni’lin which began in 2008, this time he had to spend four and a half months in prison and was fined $ 2000, a huge sum to any Palestinian. In his life he spent more than 6 years in Israeli military jails such as Majeddo, Jalbou, Negeve and Ofer where he was subjected to multiple kinds of brutality during interrogations. He was put in the tiny isolation cells below ground in Almasqubya jail near Jerusalem.
After the second intifada he got married and had four children, the youngest of which being his three year old daughter Ramees.
As the segregation wall was being built on his villages land, Aqils house was made subject to many brutal invasions by the Israeli Occupation Forces. His mentally ill older brother was shot with rubber coated steel bullets in his left eye from no more than 15 meters distance on the 30th of October 2008 as Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Ni’lin. The Israeli military commander ordered Aqils brother to be shot at close range as he was shouting at the soldiers, asking them why they were arresting Aqil.
Aqil Srour was consistently targeted by the occupation forces from the beginning of the struggle against the barrier in Ni’lin. He was time and time again shot directly at during peaceful demonstrations. Only two weeks before being assassinated he sustained injuries after having been hit in the face with a tear gas canister.
On the 5th of June 2009, Aqil was shot in the heart with a 0.22 caliber bullet, a kind of ammunition considered illegal under international law, while he was trying to rescue a 16 year old boy named Muhammed Mousa. Muhammed had been shot in the stomach by the same kind of ammunition and when Aqil reached the passed out boy he was shot by a sniper from the Israeli border police. Aqil died before reaching the hospital, not much more than two months after his release from Ofer military jail. His youngest daughter Ramees had yet to enter this world, and she never got to see her.
The martyr Aqil Srour never accepted the humiliation of living under constant occupation, it was not the future he wanted for his children.By killing Aqil the Israeli occupation didn’t only kill an extraordinary man, but also left his children to live without their fathers love.
Aqil was loved by all the people of Ni’lin, and an appreciated part of the community, always willing to help neighbors in need. He lives on in the minds and the hearts of his friends and collective memory of the entire village of Ni’lin. Aqil will never be forgotten and his memory will live on long after the fall of the occupation.
The Israeli occupation will pay for the killing of innocent and peaceful protestors such as Ahmad Mousa, Yousef Amireh, Muhammed Khawaja and Arafat Kawaja who all were brutally killed in the peaceful struggle in Ni’lin during less than a year. These murders will serve to strengthen the resolve of the people in Ni’lin. The struggle will go on until the segregation wall has fallen and the occupation has been brought to an end.