Three college students from the Palestinian territories were shot in Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday evening, according to their former school in the occupied West Bank.
In a news release, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad stated that officers responded to a call and discovered two shooting victims, with the third located a short distance away, all in close proximity to the University of Vermont campus.
The victims were taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center, as mentioned in the news release.
The shooter or shooters remain unidentified and at large, according to Murad, who emphasized that the police department is in the early stages of investigating the crime. The three students had previously graduated from Ramallah Friends School, a Quaker-run private nonprofit school in Ramallah, as per the school’s Facebook post.
Who are Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdelhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed
Identified as Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdelhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed, these students currently attend American colleges. Haverford College in Pennsylvania confirmed that Abdelhamid, a junior at the college, is recovering from gunshot wounds in a hospital.
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Husam Zomlot, posted on social media about the incident, naming the students and describing them as “three young Palestinian men.” He called for an end to hate crimes against Palestinians and emphasized the need for protection.
While the Burlington police did not specify the ethnicity of the victims or whether they were targeted for that reason, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has indicated a belief that the shooting occurred due to the victims being Arab. Two of the students are reportedly still in intensive care, with one facing critical and serious injuries, according to the civil rights organization.
In response to the incident, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators involved in the shooting.
This incident unfolds against a backdrop of heightened tensions and hate crimes in the U.S., particularly following events in the Middle East since October 7. Authorities and organizations are actively engaged in the investigation, and updates may follow as it progresses.