Some important details: Ben Ehrenreich on the Nakba Day shootings

Israel/Palestine
on 49 Comments
Roadblocks outside of Ofer military prison, where two Palestinians youths were killed by the Israeli military during a Nakba Day protest. (Photo: Ben Ehrenreich)

Blasts wall outside of Ofer military prison, where two Palestinians youths were killed by the Israeli military during a Nakba Day protest. (Photo: Ben Ehrenreich)

Last week I published a piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books about the killings of Nadim Nuwara and Mohammad Abu Thaher in Beitunia on May 15. In the aftermath of the boys’ deaths, Israeli officials—from low-ranking military spokespeople to the Minister of Defense and the Ambassador to the United States—have claimed that no live ammunition was fired by the IDF that Thursday, that the surveillance video that captured both boys’ deaths was either falsified or edited in a manipulative fashion (the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has since posted the unedited footage, seven and a half hours worth, online) and that the boys may have been killed by an unseen Palestinian gunman. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren suggested last Thursday to an as-usual-fawning-and-unquestioning Wolf Blitzer that the boys may not have died at all. Having seen their bodies, and their grieving families, I can assure you that they did.

In the LARB article I quoted a doctor who treated both boys and who told me that their wounds were without question caused by live fire. Nuwara was shot in the chest, Abu Thaher in the back: both bullets passed through their bodies, leaving exit wounds. The rubber-coated steel bullets used by the IDF can and often do penetrate the skin and can be lethal, but they cannot pass entirely through a human torso even when fired from a relatively short distance. I interviewed four eyewitnesses to the killings, all of whom said live fire was used. (The concussion from a live shot sounds differently than that of a shot when rubber-coated bullets are fired. I have met 11-year-olds in the West Bank who can accurately tell what sort of munitions are being fired by ear alone. All four of the eyewitnesses I interviewed had witnessed many such clashes and knew the difference well.) Three of them testified that they saw Israeli commanders choosing targets and pointing them out to snipers just before each boy was killed.

Last Thursday, to complicate matters slightly, CNN released footage showing a soldier firing his rifle at approximately the time that Nuwara was killed. He fires, another soldier reaches to take the rifle from him, and the camera leaps to the scene in the road, where a group of youths can be seen carrying away Nuwara’s body. It was easy to conclude, as many did, that the soldier caught by the CNN cameraman had fired the killing shot. Yesterday, Haaretz reported that the soldier in question was assigned to a communications division and was accompanying a unit of Border Police at the scene. Robert Mackey reports in the New York Times that the soldier has been suspended: as a “non-combat” soldier accompanying another unit, it was a breach of protocol for him to fire his weapon at all.

One thing is worth noting: the bullet that killed Nadim Nuwara was almost certainly not fired by the soldier caught on the CNN video. It was almost certainly a coincidence that he fired his weapon at approximately the same moment that Nuwara was hit. And he almost certainly was shooting rubber-coated bullets: the video is hazy, but his rifle appears to be equipped with the sort of extension that is attached to the barrel of an M16 to allow it to fire rubber-coated bullets. Mohannad Darabee, one of the witnesses I interviewed, told me repeatedly that he was sure the shot that killed Nuwara did not come from the group of Border Police who had gathered on a driveway just uphill and slightly back from the road. Darabee walked me to the spot where Nuwara fell, and to the spot from which the Border Police (and the now-suspended soldier) had been firing. The corner of a building stood in the way: there was no line of fire that would have allowed those soldiers to hit Nuwara.

However, another, larger group of Israeli soldiers had gathered behind a concrete blast wall on the edge of a parking lot about 200 meters from the spot where Nuwara was hit. (See image above.) It was there, Darabee said, that he saw a commander choosing targets through binoculars. Those soldiers had an unimpeded shot at Nuwara. Forgive me if this is all a bit hard to visualize: The Guardian produced a graphic that maps it all out. But I want to make this very clear, because the waters have been muddied considerably, both through deliberate obfuscation and by speculation about a video that reveals less than it appears to: the fact that the soldier caught on video by CNN was apparently firing rubber-coated bullets only confirms the accounts of eyewitnesses who testified that the bullet that killed Nadim Nuwara was likely fired by another group of soldiers gathered at the edge of the parking lot. Abu Thaher, who was shot about an hour later, and was standing in the middle of the road, easily visible from the Border Police officers’ perch, could have been killed by either group.

This post was originally published on Ben’s blog here, on May 29, 2014. 

About Ben Ehrenreich

Ben Ehrenreich is the author of two novels, 'Ether' and 'The Suitors' and many articles, stories, and essays. He lives in Los Angeles.

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49 Responses

  1. ritzl
    May 29, 2014, 2:46 pm

    Sorry, but the while the CNN video didn’t demonstratively “prove” that the kids were shot and killed from that position, it absolutely showed (by virtue of the real-time pan) that there was absolutely ZERO physical obstruction to that being the case. The Guardian’s graphic is flawed by virtue of being an incomplete representation of all the facts. The location of the CNN-documented [potential?] shooters is not behind the barricade in the Ofer parking lot.

    For this and other reasons, this analysis is a great and needed addition to the facts of this, but it would it would seem it is NOT comprehensive by any means.

    • Hostage
      May 29, 2014, 10:29 pm

      it absolutely showed (by virtue of the real-time pan) that there was absolutely ZERO physical obstruction to that being the case.

      I agree, and it also seemed that position was not 200-250 meters away from the demonstrators.

      I’m still trying to figure out how the shooter in the CNN video fired twice in succession without reloading the muzzle adapter with ammo between shots. Haaretz has an article that suggests the adapter bore is smaller in diameter than a live round, even though the rubber jacketed ammo is much larger in diameter. link to haaretz.com

      The rubber ammo is cylindrical and breaks apart when fired, but the article says that soldiers cut it apart in violation of standing procedures. Here’s a picture of a rubber round and the type of blank cartridge used with launcher tubes and rifle grenades. link to mindfully.org

      • talknic
        May 29, 2014, 11:34 pm

        Furthermore why have an ammo magazine when you’re using rubber bullets loaded into and fired from an adapter?

        The harder they try the deeper the hole

      • just
        May 29, 2014, 11:56 pm

        Don’t they have to be ready to maim/kill/terrorize at will– depending on their mood?

        btw– I thought they supposedly had regs that mandate that they shoot legs only with the “rubber bullets”… even IF they were shooting rubber bullets, why did they aim at the chest/torso???????

        “Doctors who examined the boys before their burials reported that they were both killed by gunshot wounds through their chests.

        Rajai Abu Khalil, an emergency-room doctor who attempted to save the life of Nadeem, the boy who was hit within seconds of the shot fired by the suspended soldier, told the American journalist Ben Ehrenreich that he had no doubt that the boys were killed by live fire. “There were exit wounds,” the doctor recalled. When they opened Nadeem’s chest, he said, “his heart was just destroyed.””

        link to nytimes.com

        Apparently their rules are not really rules.

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2014, 1:20 am

        why have an ammo magazine when you’re using rubber bullets loaded into and fired from an adapter?

        You employ a magazine loaded with blank cartridges to launch whatever is in the adapter. They supply the gas that operates the rig. Launch adapters are usually 1/2 inch by 28 thread and screw-on over the end of the barrel where the muzzle break or flash suppressor is normal attached. You can buy golf ball launchers for an AR-15 at most guns shows. So long as you don’t have anything loaded in the launchers, nothing prevents you from firing live ammo through one. You can see how one is constructed and works here:
        * NC STAR GOLFBALL LAUNCHER AR-15 223 link to youtube.com
        * Pumpkin carving with an AR15 golf ball launcher link to youtube.com

        The question is: What is the actual bore diameter of the adapters used by the IDF and is it smaller than a 5.56mm live round?

      • talknic
        May 30, 2014, 3:45 pm

        @ Hostage I understand the principle. An ‘ammo’ magazine is a different colour from a blank magazine. As I understand it a blue marking for blanks link to cache.gettyimages.com Live ammo a plain magazine or red

        “What is the actual bore diameter of the adapters used by the IDF and is it smaller than a 5.56mm live round?”

        Approximately 1.7 cm in diameter and length with a mass of 15.4 g (L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel via link to nature.com )

      • piotr
        May 30, 2014, 6:20 am

        It is perhaps weird but true. The descriptions say that a blank is fired to propel the rubber bullet, so it seems that a munition piece gunpowder only must be in the chamber, so you need ammo magazine with such munitions (I am not sure if they can be called bullets).

        On the level of high school physics, you need to create high gas pressure behind the bullet to propel it. In an adapter, the acceleration would be much shorter then for bullets that travel through the entire length of the barrel, which is perhaps what is wanted to give it “less lethal” performance. It is mind boggling why they do not simply use separate rifles, but this is military you are talking about.

        For example, you can create 100% safe roadblock with a device that spits out a tape with spikes, and it can be remotely controlled. IDF makes roadblock or “checkpoints” all the time, and they rely simply on shooting from behind when someone runs through, even though sometimes they kill their own settlers in that fashion.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2014, 7:01 am

        @ Piotre ” a munition piece gunpowder only must be in the chamber, so you need ammo magazine with such munitions”

        Correct. But blanks don’t have a projectile. They’re shorter than live ammo. The magazine for blanks has a plastic insert to keep the blanks in position and also making it impossible to load live ammo into a magazine for blanks.

        “It is mind boggling why they do not simply use separate rifles”

        Easier to carry an adapter, rubber rounds and blank magazine rather than the bulk of two guns

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2014, 8:28 pm

        “What is the actual bore diameter of the adapters used by the IDF and is it smaller than a 5.56mm live round?”

        Approximately 1.7 cm in diameter and length with a mass of 15.4 g (L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel via link to nature.com )

        I know what size the rubber bullet is, but the Haaretz article implies that a portion of the IDF muzzle adapter bore is narrower than the .223 caliber (5.56mm) live ammo. None of the muzzle adapters that I’m familiar with are smaller than the rifle barrel bore itself. That would be an accident waiting to happen.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2014, 8:36 pm

        @ Hostage ” That would be an accident waiting to happen. “

        I can’t think of anyone better for it to happen to

      • ritzl
        May 30, 2014, 11:23 am

        Is someone claiming that he fired twice or were you being facetious? There are so many stories and counter-stories floating around on this it’s hard to tell. I spoke that’s the object of Israel’s exercise.

        The guy w/ non-red mags did appear to fire twice…it’s endless.

        This article didn’t help that much by dismissing what is plain as day (or a masterful, seamless, movie-quality, time-consuming, secret splice involving multiple people; again with the probabilities) on the CNN video.

        Thanks for helping us decode the BS, Hostage. Much appreciated.

      • Sycamores
        May 30, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Hi Hostage

        I’m still trying to figure out how the shooter in the CNN video fired twice in succession without reloading the muzzle adapter with ammo between shots

        i watch the CNN video numerous time and i can confirm that

        at 1:53 the border policeman fire his weapon once only

        at 2:03 the non-combat soldier fire his weapon once only

        this should solve the reloading issue.

        if the Gaurdian graphic is wrong and the fatal shot was from the area shown in the CNN footage then i would argue the non-combat soldier didn’t fire the fatal shot it was the border policeman.
        thus solving Ben’s dilemma

        One thing is worth noting: the bullet that killed Nadim Nuwara was almost certainly not fired by the soldier caught on the CNN video. It was almost certainly a coincidence that he fired his weapon at approximately the same moment that Nuwara was hit.

        believe me i spend ages with others viewing the footage and we all came to the same conclusions.

      • Sycamores
        May 30, 2014, 3:17 pm

        more details

        the 10 seconds between shots is important

        when Nadim Nuwara fell to the ground it took 5/6 seconds for the others to pick him up and start running to the ambulence. when the CNN camera pans to Nadim Nuwara been carry to the ambulence they had already travel a fair distance from where he was shot prehaps another 4/5 seconds.

        in other words it would seem that Nadim Nuwara was already down before the non-combat soldier fired.

        check the videos in

        link to mondoweiss.net

        and

        CNN’s Ivan Watson video in link to mondoweiss.net

        i hope i don’t come across as been callous with my attention to detail with the seconds. i find the videos really upsetting i can’t fathom what the parents are going through and don’t know what i would do if it happen to my family.

      • ckg
        May 30, 2014, 10:20 pm

        I agree with Sycamores’ conclusion: the non-combat soldier could not have fired the fatal shot. The CNN video makes this clear.

  2. Sycamores
    May 29, 2014, 4:00 pm

    thanks Ben Ehrenreich,

    plenty of footage to go through and if the gaurdian graphic is accurate the Ofer prison car park does look more likely.

    worth noting in the CNN footage there was two shots fire, one from the border police follow by another shot from the non-combat soldier a few seconds later.

    • talknic
      May 30, 2014, 9:01 pm

      @ Sycamores ” if the gaurdian graphic is accurate the Ofer prison car park does look more likely”

      It’s illogical. From the car park the whole shop front was visible link to wp.me everyone could be targeted

      The car park is also 250mtrs from the shop front link to wp.me at which distance using rubber bullets would be pointless, leaving only live ammo, which goes against the Israeli spiel

      PLUS the rock throwers aren’t gonna get anywhere near 250mtrs

      link to wp.me

      • Sycamores
        May 31, 2014, 8:16 am

        Hi Talknic,

        the nature of the entrance and exit wounds can only be from live ammo. at close range a rubber bullet could leave a entrance wound but wouldn’t have the momentum to form an exit wound especially not through an upper torso. besides neither set of soldiers were close enough to form any sort of entrance wounds with rubber bullets.

        i believe live ammo was used so the car park can’t be rule out completely.

        the links you supply also proves you can’t rule out the soldiers seen in the CNN footage.

  3. Kay24
    May 29, 2014, 4:49 pm

    According to Oren’s illogical explanations, no one knows, saw, or has any evidence, to support the fact that two kids were brutally killed, when they did not pose any threat to the criminals with weapons, and due to Blitzer’s fawning, and simpering, got away without answering any logical question, like all Israeli officials do, when pro Israel journalists are selected to conduct interviews. This is a classic case for the ICC and other human rights agencies. There are eye witnesses and videos. Instead of allowing the criminals to conduct their meaningless investigations, it is time a credible panel, not tainted with zionist loyalties, investigate these brutal murders, and hold Israel responsible, just for once. Time they were shown that blatant lies, cover ups, and killing unarmed kids, are not acceptable by the rest of the world. They are experts at lying and blaming the victim, and expect the rest of the world to believe them.

    • just
      May 29, 2014, 5:02 pm

      Yep. Thanks Ben.

      “Yesterday, Haaretz reported that the soldier in question was assigned to a communications division and was accompanying a unit of Border Police at the scene. Robert Mackey reports in the New York Times that the soldier has been suspended: as a “non-combat” soldier accompanying another unit, it was a breach of protocol for him to fire his weapon at all.”

      Your account vs this by Haaretz makes the Israeli govt/IOF ever worse LIARS. They “suspended” an “unauthorized” someone who was shooting rubber bullets in order to cover up and lie about the assassins who actually fired real and lethal bullets into the hearts of 2 teens who posed no threat to anyone of them.

      • Bumblebye
        May 29, 2014, 9:16 pm

        Richard Silverstein’s research differs – if the ‘unauthorized’ soldier was using his own firearm, it’s more likely that it would have live ammo, rather than rubber coated less lethal crap:

        “I can now report, based on information supplied to me by a highly-placed Israeli source, that the murderer served in none other than the IDF spokesperson’s unit (Dover Tzahal). Specifically, he served in the video unit which films all Border Police and IDF operations at protests. The unit exists to surveill Palestinian demonstrations and pick out ringleaders that can be used for intelligence purposes. However, the unit inadvertently films atrocities such as this as well.

        The IDF has the video from the incident but naturally has not released it because it would rebut its false claims about what happened. My source was told the spokesperson’s office refuses to release it “for obvious reasons.” There is also an important note about how the soldier came to fire a weapon. Such soldiers, despite their serving in a non-combat role are armed. It’s highly likely the weapon shown being taken away from the shooter on the CNN video is his weapon. This would also explain why the majority of the ammunition used during the protest was rubber bullets, but live ammunition killed the boys. The killer’s weapon undoubtedly had live ammo and not rubber bullets. For Hebrew speakers, Eishton published a blog post today proving that live ammunition was fired at the protest. The IDF has consistently denied there was any live fire, which clearly is a lie. There may’ve been no live fire from the Border Police, but there was from the only soldier there who shouldn’t have been firing at all, let alone live ammunition.”

        link to richardsilverstein.com

        I guess conflicting stories is now the name of the game in zio-land. It enables the guilty to remain free.

    • piotr
      May 30, 2014, 6:24 am

      Blitzer and logical questions? Did it ever happen?

  4. wes
    May 29, 2014, 6:13 pm

    ben says

    “But I want to make this very clear, because the waters have been muddied considerably, ”

    hey hey hey

    change of story -one step removed…… can only mean one thing

    re enact ment

  5. Kay24
    May 29, 2014, 6:30 pm

    Now the zio criminals admit something is wrong. After all the lies, denials, and blame on the Palestinians. Where is Michael Oren, and shouldn’t Blitzer have a follow up interview to question him about these latest reports? It is the same ugly tactics, like the Turkish flotilla incident (they lied, doctored tapes, blamed the victims, and finally Bibi apologized), the soldier aiming a gun at a kid’s head (lies again about the kid having knuckle dusters), and now this:

    “Israeli troops use rubber bullets against IDF regulations
    In aftermath of Nakba Day shootings, Haaretz has learned that soldiers sometimes intentionally misuse ammo to cause more harm.”

    Read the entire article:
    link to haaretz.com

    Lying must be part of the zionist doctrine. It certainly seems that way.

  6. karendevito
    May 29, 2014, 8:27 pm

    Weapons testing in urban settings. A specialty of the IDF. Yotam Feldman’s documentary THe Lab shows that a clear line of fire is not needed. That cool gun that Angelina Jolie used to shoot around corners is not science-fiction. We showed The Lab at a social justice film festival in Canada— the audience found it devastating. I’m sure this news and the discussion around it will remind them.
    I’m not sure why it is in any way acceptable for soldiers to shoot unarmed boys even with rubber-coated bullets. But that’s just me.

  7. weareone
    May 29, 2014, 8:34 pm

    I’m not sure if this has been posted already. I apologize for repeating if it has: “Nakba Killings: Israel’s Reckless Use of Force Against Palestinian Children”

    link to globalresearch.ca

  8. talknic
    May 29, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Thanks to Elder of Ziyon for pointing out this video …. it appears as though there’s no rubber bullet attachment on this gun video

  9. Denis
    May 30, 2014, 12:24 am

    Sorting these details out is so important. Thanks Ben. I’ve got a few points.

    Point 1:
    I did not find any graphic at the Guardian link Ben provides.

    The parking lot Ben refers to is clearly visible on GE. And that is consistent with the witness on the DCI vid who says the fire came from the parking lot.

    This kill-site is 31°53’07.96″ N 35°10’30.32″ E – the parking lot is at 31°53’01.19″ N 35°10’37.75″ E

    It really helps to review the Yisrael Puterman video to get a good look at the area. GoogleEarth doesn’t do StreetView of the WB.

    Point 2:
    It is ludicrous to show a snip of a video of an IDF guy firing a gun and then say, “Yep, that’s the one the killed the young man.” That goes for the CNN video and the EoZ video talknic shows. Those clips don’t mean a thing.

    Point 3:
    @ Ben: “. . .with the sort of extension that is attached to the barrel of an M16″.

    Those are not M-16’s in the videos. They are M-4’s. You can tell by the vertical forward hand-grip.

    Point 4:
    talknic’s analysis of the blood – yep, that’s blood OK. I don’t think anyone ever doubted that. It’s the volume of the blood that’s in question. That’s about as much blood you’d expect if the guy got hit by a plastic or rubber bullet, or a knee-knocker. That pathetic trickle of blood would properly be taken as evidence that this second guy, Salameh, was not hit by a 5.56mm round, i.e. was not killed by an M-16 or M-4.

    What talknic needs to do is some gamma correction on the pavement so we can see the two pools of blood there. That would be extremely helpful.

    Point 5:
    talknic is confused on a number of points.

    In his May24 response to me at 1:17pm he said with respect to Salameh, who was shot in the back:

    “Who said here was an exit hole? He was wearing a satchel on his back. The bullet would have been slowed by the satchel and whatever it contained , not slow enough to stop him from being killed.”

    Huh? Sure, I guess one can make up any sort of facts one wants to fit one’s pre-formed conclusions. But this is getting pretty extreme in the fiction dept, and there are at least a couple of reports from the doctors saying that both victims had entry and exit wounds.

    I have seen about 4 videos of this guy before he was shot. He stands out with his green flag. I don’t know what satchel talknic is talking about. I don’t see any satchel on this guy. The first guy, Nurawa, had a black backpack.

    Allison Deger reported on MW that the second guy, “Mohammed Awad Salemeh Abu Thaher”, 22, from Abu Khadem was killed just before 2:00 pm from a bullet to the lower abdomen. But the time on the CCTV clearly shows 14:59 when he hit the ground. One minute before 3 pm. So who knows what’s she’s reporting. But if Thaher/Salameh was shot in the lower abdomen, then why is the guy with the tiny trickle of blood on his fingers holding Salameh’s chest?

    Point 6:
    talknic then jumps to the “satchel” carried by Nurawa. In the CNN vid, this is not a satchel, it’s a backpack in which Nurawa’s father says he found a round that he hold up to the camera. The round shown on the CNN vid is absolutely a pristine 5.56mm round. No doubt. And I pointed out that those rounds fragment when they hit a body, but that round doesn’t even have a scratch.

    talknic responded to my concern by saying, in effect: “See . . . the round is intact, so you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    “Here’s a pic of the ‘baby’ that killed the first victim after passing through his chest through his body link to wp.me No sign of fragmenting. Here’s a pic of the neat hole it made in his satchel link to wp.me”

    Yeah, well my point was that the 5.56mm round the father held up for the cameras could not have passed through a target and into a backpack and been stopped by a book without fragmenting and being pretty well beat up. IOW, . . . hello . . . maybe something is not adding up here.

    Point 7:
    @Ben: “. . .Abu Thaher, who was shot about an hour later, and was standing in the middle of the road”

    The guy’s name was originally reported by Rudoren of NYT and Khoury of Harretz as Thaher. It was later corrected to Salameh. Deger says it’s both. The guy has been buried for days, you would think there would be some agreement on his name by now.

    Thaher/Salameh was definitely not “standing in the middle of the road.” The CCTV shows he was only about 10 feet from the front of the building and under the shadow cast by the roof. He fell down in almost the exact same spot as Nurawa.

    Point 8:
    It would seem to me that unless people thought an investigation would reveal a hoax, everyone on MW would be jumping up and down demanding an investigation. Without an investigation this will just become another al-Dura incident that was never resolved. Like that situation, the IDF will come in w/ bulldozers and flatten the whole place and all the evidence in it.

    On May23 in another MW thread on the Beituna killings I posted a link to the White House “We the People” petition site for and asked folks to sign a petition that asks Obama to seek an investigation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    link to mondoweiss.net

    In spite of all the hand-wringing by MW regulars over this incident, it is disappointing to note that not a single MW reader has signed the petition. I have not advertised the petition anywhere else because I wanted to see what sort of response I got from MW. Zilch.

    Yeah, OK, let’s all get upset about what horrible things the IDF does to Palestinians, but when it comes to actually doing something simple to help establish what happened, well . . . f*%k it, I’m too busy. Very disappointed, but not entirely surprised.

    The petition is here:

    link to petitions.whitehouse.gov

    • Ellen
      May 30, 2014, 11:39 am

      Dennis, thanks for the link to the petition. It is two signatures short shy of reaching the needed 100,000 for submission.

      Question: Even if the UN conducted an investigation into the killing of these two boys, what good would that do? Especially if such an investigation found the IDF to be guilty of murdering the boys? Do you really think Israel would put any respect into an investigation conducted by the UN? I think we all know the answer to that.

      Besides, this petition is to the Obama Administration. The Administration has already come out stating that they have full faith in the IDF to conduct a fair investigation.

      That is more than ironic as the US State Department has expressed frustration in, for example, the killing of Corrie. And when an IDF officer emptied his cartridge into the corpse of a young girl he had already killed, he was exonerated by the IDF of any major crime.

      link to theguardian.com

      With Israel’s record of self investigation, how could the US administration put faith into them? Yet they do. So good luck with that petition.

      • Denis
        May 31, 2014, 2:03 am

        Ellen: “It is two signatures short shy of reaching the needed 100,000 for submission.” No, it has two signatures and 99,998 more are needed.

        Ellen: “Even if the UN conducted an investigation into the killing of these two boys, what good would that do?”

        Palestine is in a far different position now than even a couple years ago. As a non-member observer state to the UN, if an UN investigation found that IDF gunned down Nurwara and Salameh, it would put Palestine in a very good position to take charges to the ICC.

        This event is not particularly shocking compared to what American cops and SWAT teams do, like throwing a stun grenade into a baby’s crib. But this case is international and could be prosecuted as a war crime.

        But even if, as you say, nothing happened as a result of a UN investigation, I think a petition with 100,000 Americans’ names on it would be very, very significant nevertheless. At at that point this case would certainly get a lot of media attention and it would send a signal to both GoI and EU.

        But, WTF, a petition to deport Justin Beiber got over 270,000 signatures. And this one has, essentially, zilch. I wonder how many MW folks went to the trouble to sign the JB petition.

        By advertising the petition only on MW I was testing how sincere people here are about actually doing something. I would have thought there would have been at least 100 needed to put the petition on the WH webpage. Ha, ha, ha, . . . hypocrisy.

        Thanks for bringing up the 2004 Iman Al Hams case. I had not heard that one. I think it is the worst, even worse than the Corrie case. Horrible and sick.

    • talknic
      May 30, 2014, 3:41 pm

      @ Denis “The parking lot Ben refers to is clearly visible on GE. And that is consistent with the witness on the DCI vid who says the fire came from the parking lot”

      The CNN footage pans from the house, NOT the parking lot. If the shots had come from the parking lot, the bystanders would ALL have been in the line of fire! Both victims were shot about 4 mtrs from the shop wall, at a point where the line of fire could have come from the house, contrary to the Guardian diagram.

      “This kill-site is 31°53’07.96″ N 35°10’30.32″ E – the parking lot is at 31°53’01.19″ N 35°10’37.75″ E

      Uh huh. Rubber bullets at 250mtrs are a joke. Completely useless. You sure you want to go there, because only live ammo is effective at that range! It would completely contradict the IDF assertion on the ammo used

      “It is ludicrous to show a snip of a video of an IDF guy firing a gun and then say, “Yep, that’s the one the killed the young man.”

      Indeed. I didn’t.

      “talknic’s analysis of the blood – yep, that’s blood OK. I don’t think anyone ever doubted that. It’s the volume of the blood that’s in question. That’s about as much blood you’d expect if the guy got hit by a plastic or rubber bullet, or a knee-knocker.”

      No it’s the amount of blood one would expect immediately after being hit by a small caliber bullet.

      “talknic … In his May24 response to me at 1:17pm he said with respect to Salameh, who was shot in the back: “Who said here was an exit hole? He was wearing a satchel on his back. The bullet would have been slowed by the satchel and whatever it contained , not slow enough to stop him from being killed.”

      Prior to any information from doctors becoming available.. Check the dates

      “I have seen about 4 videos of this guy before he was shot. He stands out with his green flag. I don’t know what satchel talknic is talking about. I don’t see any satchel on this guy. The first guy, Nurawa, had a black backpack”

      I do make errors and admit to them. Unlike some folk. Meanwhile a satchel can be worn on the back and a backpack can be carried like a satchel. Is it THAT important?

      ” if Thaher/Salameh was shot in the lower abdomen, then why is the guy with the tiny trickle of blood on his fingers holding Salameh’s chest?”

      The images I gave show blood from the abdomen, below the guys hand!

      “In the CNN vid, this is not a satchel, it’s a backpack in which Nurawa’s father says he found a round that he hold up to the camera”

      Whatever, he was wearing it.

      “The round shown on the CNN vid is absolutely a pristine 5.56mm round. No doubt. And I pointed out that those rounds fragment when they hit a body, but that round doesn’t even have a scratch”

      You’re calling his father liar. A slug that only hits flesh doesn’t necessarily fragment

      “The CCTV shows he was only about 10 feet from the front of the building and under the shadow cast by the roof. He fell down in almost the exact same spot as Nurawa”

      So what? They were in the line of fire from the house at about the same point. Not the car park. If it came from the car park EVERYONE would have been in the line of fire all the time. However, people were sheltering close to the wall, which doesn’t figure if fire was coming from the car park.

      “In spite of all the hand-wringing by MW regulars over this incident, it is disappointing to note that not a single MW reader has signed the petition”

      The UN has already called for an investigation link to haaretz.com

  10. yonah fredman
    May 30, 2014, 12:29 am

    I lack the certitude of Yeshaya Leibowitz of blessed memory, but despite my largely adversarial presence here on this website I feel a need to write. It seems clear that these two young human beings were murdered by the IDF and their murders are now being covered up by cynical people like Michael Oren by treating this as a public relations problem, where P.R. and B.S. have become synonymous. The occupation will not end tomorrow and people’s lives will be at stake at every step of the way between here and the end of the occupation (and beyond) and it is not clear to me that my words will help lessen that bloodshed. But it seems clear that this is the case of assassination of these two young men and the lies being told by Michael Oren and his ilk are very wrong.

    • just
      May 30, 2014, 12:32 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, yonah. Much appreciated.

  11. NickJOCW
    May 30, 2014, 7:47 am

    Op. Date: 15.05.2014
    Date Dictated: 1505-2014
    Date Typed: 15.05.2014

    Operator: DR MUHAMMAD EIDEH, DR ABDELLATIF KHADER, DR SULEIMAN TARIFIÍJ

    IN SUPINE POSITION LAN MECHANICAL VENTIALTION, WITH A RT SIDED CHEST TUBE IN PLACE

    UPPER MIDLINE LAPAROTOMY* DONE _MJ

    HUGE GUSH OF BLOOD FROM THE WOUND

    ABDOMINAL PACKING DONE, BLEEDING NOT CONTROLLED

    LIVER INJURY IDENTIFIED WITH SEVERE BLEEDING FROM HEPATIC VESSELS AND BED OF THE LIVER

    PT ANNOUNCED DEAD

    CLOSURE OF INCISIONS DONE

    link to electronicintifada.net

    *The surgeon makes a cut into the abdomen and examines the abdominal organs.

    • just
      May 30, 2014, 8:05 am

      I read that yesterday… they also clamped the aorta, administered plasma and blood, and did manual cardiac massage on his shattered heart after he arrested on the table…….to no avail.

      There was a 10cm tear in the inferior vena cava… they shot to kill. There can be no ‘debate’ about it.

      RIP

  12. piotr
    May 30, 2014, 8:01 am

    talknic says:
    May 30, 2014 at 7:01 am
    @ Piotre ”

    talknic, my people abhor unwanted vowels. You may pronounce my name any way you want, but if you want to add something, make it at least complete, like “Piotrek” (I could address you affectionately “talkniczek”).

  13. NickJOCW
    May 30, 2014, 8:38 am

    Yesterday’s DOS Press Briefing…not much commitment?

    QUESTION: Have you gotten an update from the Israelis on their investigation into the deaths of these two Palestinian teenagers?
    MS. PSAKI: I have not received an update, no.
    QUESTION: Well not – I mean, not you personally.
    MS. PSAKI: We. We. Collective we.
    QUESTION: You have not. Do you know if this has been raised again with the Israelis?
    MS. PSAKI: It’s been raised. I’m not aware of it being raised again this week, no.
    QUESTION: All right. Does it remain a concern that disproportionate —
    MS. PSAKI: Certainly, certainly.
    QUESTION: — disproportionate use of force may have been used?
    MS. PSAKI: The same concerns we had last week.

    link to video.state.gov at 56:15

    • just
      May 30, 2014, 8:43 am

      Riiiiighttt.

      Have I mentioned recently that we are complicit in Israel’s crimes and their pathetic/desperate/usual cover-ups and denials?

      Shameful.

    • Kay24
      May 30, 2014, 9:07 am

      This shows either ignorance about what is happening over there (although I doubt it), or our leaders playing the wide eyed, naive act, while knowing fully well, the war crimes that go on, and human rights violations, by a criminal nation, we generously aid and arm. No updated eh? Imagine how Psaki would have reacted had this been North Korea, or some other rogue nation.

  14. Palikari
    May 30, 2014, 9:57 am

    I think it just was another Pallywood show.

    • talknic
      May 31, 2014, 10:50 am

      @ Palikari “I think it just was another Pallywood show”

      A) You base your accusation on what exactly?

      B) ‘another’? Can you show actual evidence there have been ‘others’ ?

      C) please don’t embarrass yourself by showing me a bunch of incredibly bad Israeli actors pretending to carry a dead Palestinian who then leaps off the stretcher … thx

  15. DICKERSON3870
    May 30, 2014, 2:24 pm

    RE: “All four of the eyewitnesses I interviewed had witnessed many such clashes and knew the difference well.) Three of them testified that they saw Israeli commanders choosing targets and pointing them out to snipers just before each boy was killed.” ~ Ben Ehrenreich

    MY COMMENT: What with Netanyahu getting a lot of the blame for the failure of the peace process, and the EU trying to decide what action(s) to take, Netanyahu might have decided that a violent intifada right now would be helpful (especially in keeping the EU off his back).
    It sounds as though the IDF might be trying to get the Palestinians to start an intifada. Then the IDF will use their tried and true methods* to ensure that the intifada turns violent, thereby making the Palestinians look bad (and making it difficult for the EU to punish Israel for not being more cooperative in the peace process).

    * SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.
    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    • NickJOCW
      May 31, 2014, 10:10 am

      Dickerson, For a commander to point out a target to a marksman in a ‘riot’ situation is a normal procedure. The purpose is to select a target whose death will maximise a predetermined effect. Normally to achieve dispersal,

  16. talknic
    May 30, 2014, 5:14 pm

    An analysis and rebuttal of some of Israel’s apologists’ claims

    More @ link to wp.me

  17. just
    May 31, 2014, 9:41 am

    O/T (but related, imo)

    “The Defense Ministry and Israel Defense Forces recently formed a committee to investigate allegations of war crimes raised after recent targeted aerial strikes against Palestinian militants. The names of panel members, however, were not disclosed.

    Heading the panel is a retired judge, but reports conflict on whether on that served in a district court or in a magistrate’s court. The rest of the panel is formed of a veteran general, retired Shin Bet commander and an expert of international law.
    IDF spokesman confirmed on Thursday that the panel currently investigates “several incidents” and that so far no attack was deemed illegal.

    In March, Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni publically commended the establishment of an external body to probe into the legality of targeted killings, but also avoided commenting on who its members would be. Efroni further refused to answer whether the panel has been assembled to contend and look into claims that had been raised about civilian harm – which could potentially constitute war crimes and which the military pledged to investigate.

    (and)

    Last year the committee has been active again, but details of its appointees, who have been personally approved by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, remain concealed.

    This fact clashes with the self-congratulating tone of the military advocate general, who prides himself in finding confluence between the IDF’s activities and international law. In February last year, set to the backdrop of the 2012 Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza and the publication of the Turkel Committee report about criminal aspects in military operations, Efroni announced that the army’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has ordered the formation of an “independent military investigative body.” According to Efroni, “today we open an investigation for every incident in which a civilian, unaffiliated with insurgent activities, is killed in Judea and Samaria during a [military] operation that is not an official campaign.” ”

    link to haaretz.com

    So, bring it to the ICC. The secret panel cannot possibly be trusted.

    • Hostage
      May 31, 2014, 2:15 pm

      So, bring it to the ICC. The secret panel cannot possibly be trusted.

      The member states created the ICC to deal with situations in which crimes defined by the international community went unpunished because governments were either unwilling or unable to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, it turns out that the ICC Prosecutor is unwilling to investigate and bring those responsible to justice, even in cases where there is broad international support.

  18. just
    May 31, 2014, 10:01 am

    “Simply because he was bored
    The Nakba Day shooting sums up the crime of occupation, which has turned the IDF from the people’s army into a hothouse of violence.

    “The soldier who took part in the shooting at Beitunia was suspended from his job and a Military Police investigation was opened against him, but the blame must not fall only on him and the Border Policemen who were there at the time. The moral deterioration falls under the responsibility of all Israel’s governments since 1967, and especially the current pro-settlement, anti-peace government.

    The story of the Beitunia shooting sums up the crime of occupation, which has turned the IDF from the people’s army, whose task is to protect the state’s citizens, into a hothouse of violence, where soldiers and policemen shoot Palestinians as though they were ducks at a shooting range. ”

    link to haaretz.com

    • NickJOCW
      May 31, 2014, 1:38 pm

      The more one is sucked into all this the more I wonder if these young IDF men may be stoned, at any rate high on something, Perhaps even defensively. Is that possible?

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