Council on American-Islamic Relations offers $10,<> reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator (social media)

Washington — A gunman shot three Palestinian teenagers and students in Burlington, Vermont, near the U.S.-Canada border, and the three victims survived, but two of them are currently in the intensive care unit, and the full extent of the injuries is not known at this time.

The 20-year-old students are Hisham Awartani from Brown University, Kenan Abdel Hamid from Harvard University, and Tahseen Ahmed from Trinity University, and the three students graduated from the Friends of Ramallah High School, which is run by the Quakers Foundation in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank in occupied Palestine.

"We offer our prayers to them and their families for a full recovery, especially given the severity of the injuries, as Hisham was injured in his back, improved chest, and Kinan suffered minor injuries," the school said in a statement.

What happened?

The 911 emergency service received a call about a gunshot incident, around 6:30 p.m. Saturday on North Prospect Street, and police found two injured people at the scene, while the third was injured nearby, according to local media, and the three young men were taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where they are being treated for their injuries.

According to the information provided, the three students gathered together to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, were wearing Palestinian keffiyeh, and spoke Arabic, and a man shouted at them, harassed them, and then proceeded to shoot them.

The gunman remains at large, local police are looking for him, the crime has not yet been classified as a hate crime, and local police have not yet identified the suspect in the shooting, nor have they detained anyone.

We are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of a shooting Saturday targeting three Palestinian university students in Burlington, Vermont. #Gaza #CeasefireNOW

— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) November 26, 2023


The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), one of the oldest Arab human rights organizations in the United States, issued a statement condemning the incident and calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to intervene and investigate it.

The organization called on Vermont law enforcement authorities to investigate the shooting as a hate crime, and the organization reached out to the Department of Justice and the FBI to also call for an immediate investigation into hate crimes.

"We pray for the full recovery of the victims, and we stand ready to support the families in any way required, given the information collected and provided, it is clear that hatred was a catalyst in this shooting, and we call on law enforcement authorities to investigate it as such," the organization's executive director, Abed Ayoub, said in a tweet. "The rise of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian sentiment that we are witnessing is unprecedented, and this is yet another example of the transformation of hatred into violence."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also condemned the incident, tweeting on the X website offering a $10,<> reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators.

"Given the unprecedented escalation of hatred and violence against Muslims and Palestinians we have witnessed in recent weeks, local and national authorities must enforce the law and investigate the possible racist motive for the shooting," said Nihad Awad, Director of the organization.

Incident Backgrounds

American universities, especially prestigious ones such as the universities of these victims, are witnessing a continuous and huge movement opposing the continuation of the Israeli aggression, and the incident came at a time when hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims have been witnessing a significant increase since the seventh of last October, and the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and the associated huge demonstrations against the American position in support of aggression.

Among the most prominent incidents is the killing of Wadih al-Fayoumi, who was stabbed to death to death by the owner of a property where his family lives in a suspected hate crime, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations says there has been a 162 percent increase in hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims.

Source : Al Jazeera