West Bank funeral highlights Israel’s use of live ammunition to provoke violent resistance

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Procession of Muhammad Asfour, Aboud, Palestine March 8, 2013 (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills)

Palestinians from all over the West Bank poured into the village of Aboud yesterday to walk in the funeral procession for Muhammad Asfour. Asfour would have turned 23 today; he was a college student shot at the entrance to his home village of Aboud, protesting against the inhumane Israeli policies of arresting and imprisoning Palestinians from all walks of life. Just last week 60 Palestinian civilians were arrested by Israel, including 12 children.

In the coverage of his death, AP offers this hasbara claim: “The Israeli military says rubber bullets are meant to be ‘non-lethal’ means of dispersing protests.” But it wasn’t a rubber bullet that cracked the skull of Muhammad Asfour, causing brain hemorrhages for two weeks until he died. It was a rubber coated steel bullet.

The use of live ammunition on Palestinian protestors is on the rise. On January 31st, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley expressed ‘serious concern’ about the increase in civilian deaths in the West Bank from the use of live ammunition, after eight Palestinian civilians, including three minors, were killed by Israeli forces over the previous 2-1/2 months. He said “Individuals found responsible must be held accountable,” but there will be no accountability. There’s never any accountability; instead the deaths keep stacking up.

Israel is targeting Palestinian youth for daring to protest the inhumane policies of administrative detention, daring to protest the incarceration of husbands, fathers, mothers …. and their children. Some taken from houses at night, interrogated and abused, locked away for months or sometimes years.

Residents of Nabi Saleh, instead of protesting the theft of their land, springs and water (weekly protest every Friday), went to the nearby village of Aboud to join the funeral procession of Muhammad Asfour instead.

Popular resistance leader Bassam Tamimi says the Israel government has become  “more terrorist now” in an effort to force Palestinians to abandon “this way of resistance,” meaning non violence: “they want to force us in the corner to go to the hard resistance.”

Muhammad Asfour, in solidarity with Palestinians Hunger Strikers, gave his life protesting these inhumane Israeli policies of incarcerations. And as for all the urgent appeals, expressions of “concern” and calls for accountability, and UN accusations of  systematic abuse that violates international law: When is someone going to do something? What options do Palestinians have going against an occupation authority backed by the global superpower? Is the world going to stand by for another decade of Israel treating Palestinians as expendable rats in a human laboratory as they steal more and more of Palestinian territory?

8539180003 da94861d66 zThe sister of Muhammad Asfour (L) holds a photograph of her brother at his funeral procession Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Anne Paq’s Chroniques de Palestine- Popular resistance and human rights:

The same day of his funeral; two other Palestinians were critically shot in Hebron and North of Gaza.

IMG 0455Funeral Procession of Muhammad Asfour in Abud, Palestine March 8,2013(AnnePaq/Activestills)

After the procession more clashes broke out with Israeli soldiers.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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