Three Palestinian college students shot in US. Photo Courtesy: Husam Zomlot X page
At least one person has been arrested over the shooting of three Palestinian college students in Burlington city of the US, media reports said on Monday.
The family members of the victims have urged police to investigate the matter as a hate crime.
Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ahmed and Kinnan Abdalhamid were confronted and shot by a man near the University of Vermont Campus, Burlington police told BBC.
Officers are investigating a possible motive, but say the victims were wearing keffiyeh - a traditional scarf - and speaking Arabic when attacked, the British media reported.
Police have named the suspect as Jason J Eaton.
Local police chief Jon Mura earlier told BBC that two victims were in a stable condition; the third has suffered much more serious injuries.
An attorney for the victims’ families, Abed Ayoub, said he believes the students were targeted, in part, because two of them were wearing keffiyehs – traditional Palestinian scarves.
“The suspect walked up to them and shot them. They weren’t robbed, they weren’t mugged,” Ayoub said on “CNN Newsroom” Sunday before the arrest was announced. “It was a targeted shooting and a targeted crime.”
The incident happened amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Vermont senator and former Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has condemned the incident.
" It is shocking and deeply upsetting that three young Palestinians were shot here in Burlington, VT. Hate has no place here, or anywhere. I look forward to a full investigation. My thoughts are with them and their families," he posted on X.
Three young Palestinian men, Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ali and Kenan Abdulhamid, students at Brown and other US universities, were shot last night on their way to a family dinner in Burlington, USA. Their crime? Wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh. They are critically injured. And… pic.twitter.com/OwafFkHwg4— Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) November 26, 2023
Ambassador Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, shared an image of the victims on his X page and wrote: "Three young Palestinian men, Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ali and Kenan Abdulhamid, students at Brown and other US universities, were shot last night on their way to a family dinner in Burlington, USA. Their crime? Wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh. They are critically injured. And Six weeks ago, 6-year old Palestinian child was stabbed 26 times in a hate crime in Illinois. The hate crimes against Palestinians must stop. Palestinians everywhere need protection."
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