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Palestinian Ivy League student paralyzed after being shot in Vermont, his mother says

The suspect was arrested and pleaded not guilty to three attempted murder charges.

Published: December 4, 2023 11:01am

A Palestinian Ivy League college student who was shot alongside two of his friends in Vermont is paralyzed from the chest down, his mother said. 

Hisham Awartani, a 20-year-old junior at Brown University, was shot over Thanksgiving break in Burlington, and he is scheduled to be released from the hospital to rehabilitation next week, his mother, Elizabeth Price, told CNN on Sunday.

"We believe that Hisham will meet this challenge with the same determination I’ve witnessed this week," Pierce said. The family is also accepting donations through GoFundMe, more than $900,000 raised over two days as of Monday morning, putting the fundraiser near its goal of $1.1 million.

"The fund will help cover costs associated with his rehabilitation, air travel of his family and expenses related to the adaptive needs of his new reality," Pierce said. She also said that the full amount of the GoFundMe isn't needed, but the remainder of the funds will go toward more vulnerable and "much less fortunate" Palestinians. 

Awartani's longtime friends, Kinnan Abdalhamid of Haverford College and Tahseen Ali Ahmad of Trinity College, were shot in the upper torso and lower extremities when suspect Jason J. Eaton, 48, allegedly opened fire on the men late last month as they walked to Awartani's grandmother's house, police say. Both Abdalhamid and Ahmad have been released from the hospital. 

The suspect was arrested and pleaded not guilty to three attempted murder charges.

Police are still searching for a motive, but the shooting comes after terrorists from the Gaza Strip invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and kidnapping about 240 others. The terrorist attack led to an ongoing war, and the Hamas-run Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths, says more than 15,000 people have died in the Gaza Strip as a result.  

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