Top Israeli officials who issued directive to execute Palestinians hang Hebron killer out to dry

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

Elor Azraya, the soldier who summarily executed Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif as he lay on the street immobile and unarmed yesterday, is suspected of murder.

In his defense, his lawyer Eyal Beserglick said Azraya “acted in accordance with the rules of engagement as suggested by his superiors.”

He’s right.

It’s unclear which superiors the lawyer is referring to, but it could be any number of figures in the political and military echelon who have commanded Israeli soldiers to shoot Palestinians deemed attackers dead on-the-spot.

That’s precisely what he did. And now Israel’s top brass is hanging the killer out to dry.

Since the graphic video released by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem went viral, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon distanced themselves from the killing, however stopping short of condemning the killer. But just a few months ago, they were inciting soldiers to kill and guaranteed them full legal backing.

Here are the statements from October translated from official videos posted to Netanyahu’s Youtube account, and statements following the execution.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon

October 9, 2015: “Right now is it required to respond quickly to any local attack to eliminate the terrorist stabber or the perpetrator stone thrower and the like, immediately, on the spot.”

March 24, 2016: “Even as we are forced to fight our enemies and overcome them in battle, we are equally obligated to uphold our mores. To be human.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

October 14th, 2015, speaking to paramilitary border police units: “I know that it requires your discretion, but have no doubt: You have complete backing – complete! – from me, from the Israeli government, and in my opinion from the nation in Israel.”

March 24, 2016: “What happened in Hebron doesn’t represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to behave level-headedly and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

Israeli military Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot

October 8, 2015: “Our policy of use of force is very clear. The IDF has complete freedom of action in order to to fulfill the mission to restore security.”

March 25, 2016: Israeli army spokesperson speaking on behalf on Eizenkot: “The chief of staff views the incident with severity and has ordered a full probe. This is not the IDF, these are not the values of the IDF and these are not the values of the Jewish people.”

Other politicians who have backed the shoot-to-kill policy have been silent in the wake of yesterday’s killing.

Yair Lapid, Member of Knesset and Chairman of the “centrist” Yesh Atid Party, did not made a public statement yesterday. But in October, he encouraged vigilantes killings, telling the Israeli public, “Whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver, or whatever it may be, the directive needs to be shoot in order to kill. Not to hesitate. There will be full legal backing. The state gives full legal backing.”

Benti Sau, Israeli Police Acting Commissioner, has also refrained from comment. But on October 8, 2015, he said, “From my personal experience, I can tell you that at this time, we have received backing from the political level, full backing from the legal system.”

Education Minister Nafatali Bennett, Minister of Science Ofir Akunis, MK Bezalel Smotrich and MK Oren Hazan all publicly defended the soldier who executed a wounded, unarmed man.

For its part, the New York Times dutifully focused on the fact that Israel detained the soldier, conveniently omitting the aforementioned official shoot-to-kill directives.

New York Times correspondent Diaa Hadid even claimed that Israeli top brass were asking soldiers to not shoot-to-kill. I asked Hadid what statements she was referring to on Twitter, but she declined to respond. Perhaps she was referring to Israeli army chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot’s January statement that he doesn’t want Israeli soldiers and police to unload their entire magazine into 14-year-old girls with scissors (this actually happened, and the cop who did it was found to have committed no wrongdoing). If that is the case, the irony of Eizenkot’s statement appears to be lost on Hadid, as it was the Israeli right-wing who pilloried him for his statement. Eizenkot is the architect of the Dahiya Doctrine, which calls for disproportionate force to be used against civilians.

Several other important details have come to light since yesterday.

Azraya is a medic in the Kfir brigade. While the fact that someone tasked with treating the wounded carried out an execution is abhorrent, it’s not surprising. The head of Magen David Adom in Hebron, which is officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that “terrorists should not be permitted to leave the scene alive.” I wrote here about the trend among Israeli medical professionals to abandon triage protocol, effectively ensuring the death of wounded Palestinians. The execution of Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif should be understood similarly.

Azraya also claimed he shot al-Sharif because he thought he might have a bomb.

“He wore a thick coat and therefore I feared that he would stand and detonate an explosive belt,” he told his family. “After I saw the terrorist moved, I shot him. I just feared that the terrorist would blow himself up.”

But as journalist Marian Houk observed, a video released yesterday shows a soldier kicking over the body of Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, indicating soldiers had no fear of explosives. Photos of the body being loaded onto a stretcher also contradict Azraya’s claim.

About Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

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39 Responses

  1. Marnie
    March 25, 2016, 1:11 pm

    I am not going to feel sorry for this little bastard at all – he was a medic! However, he shouldn’t hang alone. It seems like there are plenty of higher ups that could be hung along with him, kind of going with the holiday spirit of Purim – right JonS/66?

    • John O
      March 25, 2016, 1:37 pm

      Azraya’s lawyer is pretty shrewd. Just like the suspects in the Dawabshe arson/murder case, who claim their confessions were beaten out of them, any trial will be politically embarrassing for Israel. I predict endless pre-trial manoeuvring until the caravan moves on and the rest of the world slowly forgets what happened.

    • a blah chick
      March 25, 2016, 1:50 pm

      When I was in the army in the middle eighties, as a member of the medical corps we were told that our weapons were only to be used to either defend our position from attack or as personal self defense. At no time were you suppose to engage in ANY offensive behavior. I can’t say for sure but I suspect most militaries around the world take the same position.

      I feel no sympathy for the little _ _ _ _ either. A medic summarily executed a man, a MEDIC! He should know better. Nevertheless he was implementing policies but into place by his superiors. They are the ones who should be under arrest as well. And all this happens the same week that Radovan Karadžić gets sentenced.

      • Boomer
        March 25, 2016, 5:37 pm

        re: “And all this happens the same week that Radovan Karadžić gets sentenced.”

        Last night on NPR the reporters mentioned war crimes in Syria, but didn’t say anything about crimes against Palestinians. Writing in “Time,” Madeleine Albright says we need more accountability for war crimes, but she also doesn’t say anything about crimes against Palestinians.

        See: War Crime Trials Are Necessary for Humanity’s Future
        http://time.com/4272021/karadzic-conviction/

      • Steve Grover
        March 25, 2016, 6:47 pm

        Boomer sez,
        “Writing in “Time,” Madeleine Albright says we need more accountability for war crimes, but she also doesn’t say anything about crimes against Palestinians.”
        That is because Israel does not commit war crimes.

      • oldgeezer
        March 25, 2016, 11:13 pm

        @WH

        Great point. Albright is a prime candidate for a war crimes trial.

        @grover
        In your fantasy world perhaps. In the real world israel commits war crimes and crimes against humanity, literally, on a daily basis. You know those african hellholes you aren’t as bad as? That too is wishful thinking. You are not alone on the bottom rung but you are indeed on the bottom rung and a shining example of the depths of depravity that humans can sink to. A foul stench hangs over israel.

      • Mooser
        March 26, 2016, 12:07 pm

        “That is because Israel does not commit war crimes.”

        SQUELCH!!

        “Grover”, what are you trying to do? What is it you want to accomplish here?

      • Rashers2
        March 26, 2016, 12:55 pm

        Grover: “Israel does not commit war crimes,” my dad was Liberace and my aunt has b*lls so she’s really my uncle. Kiss my a*se, I’m checking into a monastery! חג פורים שמח, Grover.

      • Steve Grover
        March 26, 2016, 8:30 pm

        Mooser wants to know what I’m doing here. He owns the place. I have never seen him or Phil Weiss post simultaneously. I’m here Mooser, until my number of posts equals yours.

      • Steve Grover
        March 26, 2016, 8:52 pm

        Woops typo! That was supposed to be “him and Phil Weiss”

      • eljay
        March 26, 2016, 10:27 pm

        || Steve Grover: … That is because Israel does not commit war crimes. ||

        Except when it does, every day and twice on Sundays.

      • Mooser
        March 27, 2016, 11:45 am

        ” I’m here Mooser, until my number of posts equals yours.”

        Yup, you have really “settled” here.
        Tell it to the Moderators.

      • Talkback
        March 28, 2016, 10:55 am

        Grover: “That is because Israel does not commit war crimes.”

        Yep, Nakba denial is as despicable as Holocaust denial. It’s actually the same brown source.

    • Mooser
      March 25, 2016, 2:51 pm

      “kind of going with the holiday spirit of Purim – right JonS/66?”

      Feasts and masks and fun. The kind of holiday you’d be sure to include if you were “designing a religion from scratch”.

      • WH
        March 25, 2016, 7:59 pm

        “Madeleine Albright says we need more accountability for war crimes”

        Then she should set an example and go to the Hague now!

    • brent
      March 26, 2016, 11:18 am

      Watching the video several times, I saw one soldier, appearing to be an officer, walk back and bring Azraya from some ways back toward the wounded man, then watching as Azraya put a bullet in his chamber and fired. It certainly had the appearance of following orders.

  2. oldgeezer
    March 25, 2016, 2:32 pm

    Poor little murderer set adrift. The perfidy of the going is hardly surprising as that is part of their claim to fame. Totally untrustworthy and vile.

    The calls for on-site execution were quite apparent and reported in Israeli media. This guy never would have been arrested but for the video. It is more than likely most of the Palestinian deaths have been through such murders. The idf is based on murder and terrorism since it’s inception.

    • a blah chick
      March 25, 2016, 3:47 pm

      “This guy never would have been arrested but for the video”

      I read on Twitter today that the Palestinian man who recorded it has been targeted by the local settlers.

  3. Amar
    March 25, 2016, 2:56 pm

    They didnt “hang him out to dry”. They are just going thru the motions for PR purposes. In 6 months he will be in the clear as has happened in other cases over the years. Iman al-Hams, a 13 year old schoolgirl was murdered by a soldier who emptied his entire clip into her body (2003-04?) and said he’d do it again even if she was 3 years old. ‘Not guilty’ was the verdict in his case with almost no word about it in the press, other than publications like the Guardian.

    The IDF/legal system makes sure that no one faces any serious repercussions even for cold-blooded child murders. So whats a wounded Arab male in an alleged knife attack? The soldier is probably quite comfortable with himself/situation and may in fact be a hero to his IDF pals and public.

    • Bumblebye
      March 25, 2016, 4:44 pm

      I’m sure you’re (ever so slightly) mistaken. Wasn’t he actually convicted of wasting ammunition?

      • tree
        March 25, 2016, 4:54 pm

        Wasn’t he actually convicted of wasting ammunition?

        Nope. He was found not guilty on all charges, but he was never charged with murder, only minor offenses.

        An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

        The soldier, who has only been identified as “Captain R”, was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

        …….

        The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.

        more at link

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/nov/16/israel2

      • Talkback
        March 28, 2016, 11:32 am

        “Subsequent to his acquittal, Captain R. was promoted to the rank of major. In March 2006, he received 82,000 New Israel Shekels (roughly $17,000) to compensate him for the cost of his defense and time spent in jail.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iman_Darweesh_Al_Hams

  4. ritzl
    March 25, 2016, 3:09 pm

    I wonder if he looked more Ashkenazi if he would have been abandoned so readily and so utterly.

    Is this, along with everything else, also a case of a Mizrahi “striver” doing what he thought was required to fit in?

  5. Miriam
    March 26, 2016, 5:45 pm

    “In his defense, his lawyer Eyal Beserglick said Azraya “acted in accordance with the rules of engagement AS SUGGESTED BY HIS SUPERIORS.” —- Mein Gott in Himmel!! How familiar the refrain. Could it be any clearer?

    He ‘vas just folloving orders’.
    ……NUREMBERG REDUX —
    So the next time we read about Israelis or zionists spitting invectives at dissidents who DARE compare IDF to Nazis….perhaps that phrase vill ring ze bell..?

  6. JLewisDickerson
    March 26, 2016, 9:13 pm

    RE: “Top Israeli officials who issued directive to execute Palestinians hang Hebron killer out to dry”

    MY COMMENT: Netanyahu apparently believes that since Israel does not officially have the death penalty, it is necessary for The Most Moral Army In The World™ to carry out extra-judicial executions in order to placate the sizable constituency of right-wing, “hang ’em high” Israelis, thereby keeping Netanyahu’s ruling coalition from fracturing.

    SEE: “Yes, Israel Is Executing Palestinians Without Trial” | By Gideon Levy | Haaretz.com | Jan 17, 2016

    [EXCERPT] We should call it like it is: Israel executes people without trial nearly every day. Any other description is a lie. If there was once discussion here about the death penalty for terrorists, now they are executed even without trial (and without discussion). If once there was debate over the rules of engagement, today it’s clear: we shoot to kill – any suspicious Palestinian.

    Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan outlined the situation clearly when he said, “Every terrorist should know he will not survive the attack he is about to commit” – and almost every politician joined him in nauseating unison, from Yair Lapid on up. Never have so many licenses to kill been handed out here, nor has the finger been so itchy on the trigger.

    In 2016, one doesn’t have to be Adolf Eichmann to be executed here – it’s enough to be a teenage Palestinian girl with scissors. The firing squads are active every day. Soldiers, police and civilians shoot those who stabbed Israelis, or tried to stab them or were suspected of doing so, and at those who run down Israelis in their cars or appear to have done so.

    In most cases, there was no need to shoot – and certainly not to kill. In a good many of the cases, the shooters’ lives were not in danger. They shot people to death who were holding a knife or even scissors, or people who just put their hands in their pockets or lost control of their car.

    They shot them to death indiscriminately – women, men, teenage girls, teenage boys. They shot them when they were standing, and even after they were no longer a threat. They shot to kill, to punish, to release their anger, and to take revenge. There is such contempt here that these incidents are barely covered in the media.

    Last Saturday, soldiers at the Beka’ot checkpoint (called Hamra by the Palestinians) in the Jordan Valley killed businessman Said Abu al-Wafa, 35, a father of four, with 11 bullets. At the same time, they also killed Ali Abu Maryam, a 21-year-old farm laborer and student, with three bullets. The Israel Defense Forces did not explain the killing of the two men, except to say there was a suspicion that someone had drawn a knife. There are security cameras at the site, but the IDF has not released video footage of the incident.

    Last month, other IDF soldiers killed Nashat Asfur, a father of three who worked at an Israeli chicken slaughterhouse. They shot him in his village, Sinjil, from 150 meters away, while he was walking home from a wedding. Earlier this month, Mahdia Hammad – a 40-year-old mother of four – was driving home through her village, Silwad. Border Police officers sprayed her car with dozens of bullets after they suspected she intended to run them over.

    The soldiers didn’t even suspect cosmetology student Samah Abdallah, 18, of anything. Soldiers shot her father’s car “by mistake,” killing her; they had suspected a 16-year-old pedestrian, Alaa al-Hashash, of trying to stab them. They executed him as well, of course.

    They also killed Ashrakat Qattanani, 16, who was holding a knife and running after an Israeli woman. First a settler ran her over with his car, and when she was lying injured on the ground, soldiers and settlers shot her at least four times. Execution – what else?

    And when soldiers shot Lafi Awad, 20, in his back while he was fleeing after throwing stones, was that not an execution?

    These are only a few of the cases I have documented over the past few weeks in Haaretz. The website of the human rights group B’Tselem has a list of 12 more cases of executions. . .

    SOURCE – http://archive.is/v6Gz4#selection-1819.0-1849.20

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 26, 2016, 9:47 pm

      P.S. A HARBINGER OF TODAY’S EXTRA-JUDICIAL EXECUTIONS:
      Bus 300 affair
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      The Bus 300 affair (Hebrew: פרשת קו 300 Translit.: Parashat Kav 300 Translated: Line 300 affair), also known as Kav 300 affair, was a 1984 incident in which Shin Bet members executed two Palestinian bus hijackers, immediately after the hostage crisis incident ended and they were captured.
      After the incident, the Shin Bet members gave false testimony on their involvement in the affair. The Israeli military censor blacked out coverage of the hijacking originally, but nevertheless, the publication of information regarding the affair in foreign press, and eventually in the Israeli media, led a public uproar which led many in the Israeli public to demand that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the hijackers would be investigated. In 1985 a senior Israeli army general Yitzhak Mordechai was acquitted of charges related to the deaths of the captured hijackers.[1] Later, it emerged that members of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, had implicated the general, while concealing who gave the direct order that the prisoners be killed. In 1986 the Attorney General of Israel, Yitzhak Zamir, was forced to resign after he refused to call off an investigation into the Shin Bet’s role in the affair.[2] Shortly afterwards Avraham Shalom, head of the Shin Bet resigned and was given a full Presidential pardon for unspecified crimes, while pardons were granted to many involved before charges were laid. . .

      Details of the incident

      Egged bus 300 hostage crisis
      On Thursday 12 April 1984, four armed Arab guerillas from the Gaza Strip reached Ashdod where they boarded, as paying passengers, an Egged Bus No. 300 en route from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 41[5] passengers. The Palestinians hijacked it shortly after it left the station at 7:30 pm.[5] During the takeover one of the bus passengers was severely injured. The hijackers stated that they were armed with knives[6] and a suitcase containing two anti-tank rounds which they threatened to explode.[4] The hijackers forced the bus to change its direction and drive towards the Egyptian border.
      Shortly after the bus was hijacked, the hijackers released a pregnant woman from the bus south of Ashdod.[7][8] She hitchhiked to a gas station and from there alerted the authorities to the hijacking.[9] As a result, Israeli military forces began chasing the bus.[10]
      The bus, moving at 120 km/h,[10] smashed through two primitive road blocks until Israeli soldiers fired at the bus tires[11] and successfully managed to disable the bus near the Palestinian camp of Deir el-Balah located in the Gaza Strip, only 10 miles north of the Egyptian border.[5] When the bus stopped, some of the passengers managed to escape from the bus through an open door.[5]
      In the ensuing stand-off, members of the Israeli media began to gather at the scene. Also present were senior military officers and politicians. These included Chief of Staff Moshe Levi, Minister of Defence Moshe Arens, and the Director of the Israeli domestic intelligence service Shin Bet, Avraham Shalom.
      The hijackers, who were holding the bus passengers hostage, demanded the release of 500 Arab prisoners imprisoned in Israel and free passage to Egypt for themselves.[5] The hijackers stated that they would not hesitate to blow up their explosive-laden suitcase and kill all the passengers on the bus.

      Takeover operation
      After lengthy negotiations, at around 7:00 am of 13 April, a special force of Sayeret Matkal under the command of brigadier-general Yitzhak Mordechai stormed the bus while shooting at the hijackers through the vehicle’s windows.[12] During this takeover operation the soldiers were able to eliminate two of the hijackers, capture the two additional hijackers, and release all hostages except for one passenger – a 19-year-old female soldier named Irit Portuguez who was killed by the IDF forces fire during the takeover operation.[12][13] Seven passengers were wounded during the course of the operation.

      Execution of two captured hijackers
      Two hijackers were captured alive, bound and taken to a nearby field, where they were beaten by people who had gathered around them. Shin Bet chief Avraham Shalom, and the Shin Bet chief of operations Ehud Yatom, approached the bound terrorists. Before he left the site, Shalom ordered Yatom to execute the two terrorists.
      As a result, Yatom and several members of the Shin Bet took the militants into a vehicle, and drove them to an isolated place, where the two were executed.
      The Israeli military censor blacked out coverage of the hijacking originally. As a result, initial reports published in Israel and worldwide claimed that all hijackers were killed during the takeover. Nevertheless, three days later the Israeli daily newspaper Hadashot quoted a report from The New York Times, thus bypassing the Israeli Military Censor, which stated that two of the hijackers were captured alive. A few days later Hadashot published on its front page a photograph taken by Alex Levac, in which one of the hijackers was being held alive and fully conscious while taken off the bus.[14] The publication of the photograph caused a public uproar and as a result many in the Israeli public demanded that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of hijackers would be investigated.

      The trial
      In 1985, Brigadier General Yitzhak Mordechai, who had led the storming of the bus, and eleven others were put on trial for the killing of the two prisoners. They were accused of being amongst a larger group who beat and kicked the prisoners to death. Witnesses described the General hitting the prisoners with a pistol. He was cleared of the charges, and the charges against the others dropped. In the spring of 1986 the deputy chief of Shin Bet, Reuven Hazak and two officials Rafi Malka and Peleg Raday, met Prime Minister Shimon Peres and accused their superior, Avraham Shalom, of having ordered the murders and coordinating the testimonies of witnesses in the case against General Mordechai. Peres refused to act on this information and the three officials were dismissed from the Shin Bet. They then gave evidence that led Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir to launch a criminal probe against the senior Shin Bet officials accused of covering up the killings.[2] On hearing the evidence, Zamir opened a police investigation into Shin Bet actions and in particular the role of its Director. In May 1986 Zamir was forced to resign amidst accusations of disregarding national security after refusing to end his investigations.[28] His resignation was reported in the international media and Israeli newspapers were able to bypass the Military Censor with revelations about the Shin Bet. It became public that Avraham Shalom was accused of ordering the killing of the two prisoners and organising an extensive cover-up which included implicating General Mordechai.[29][30]
      In June 1986 a little-known judge, Yosef Harish, took over as Attorney General and President Chaim Herzog issued a blanket pardon to Shalom and four other Shin Bet officers.[31][32] These pardons were challenged in the Supreme Court. During the appeal papers were revealed in which Shalom asserted that all his actions were “authorised and approved.” This implicated the Prime Minister at the time of the killings – Yitzhak Shamir.[33][34]
      On 6 August 1986 the Supreme Court upheld the pardons, but Attorney General Harish promised there would be an investigation.[35] . . .

      SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_300_affair

    • Marnie
      March 27, 2016, 9:34 am

      People on MW, myself included, have remarked that the hasbara is pretty substandard, i.e., Hophni, Yonah, Jackdaw, Jons/66, MaxNaar, etc. After reading your post, I can understand why. The state of israhell doesn’t try to come up with even half-assed excuses to explain the executions so why should our resident hasbarists break a sweat? In one respect it’s refreshingly honest to see they will make no attempts to excuse what they do, after all, what does that little thing called the rest of the world really matter – am yisrael chai is all that matters. That little thing called the rest of the world better sit up and watch this closely because this is a giant FUCK YOU, whatta you gonna do about it to the rest of the civilized world, from a pissant little shithole with nuclear weapons and a massive persecution complex.

      • Kay24
        March 27, 2016, 11:47 am

        Try not to hold back Marnie. :))

        I also notice that they NEVER refer to, or respond to comments, regarding the illegal settlements being built for squatters? They know it is wrong, but hey, it is better to not address the issue and admitting so.

      • Marnie
        March 27, 2016, 1:57 pm

        Thanks Kay24 – I’ll try not to beat around the burning bush so much and say how I really feel – :)

  7. Marnie
    March 27, 2016, 8:57 am

    Nothing is going to happen to this racist punk B#@$h as far as ‘punishment’ goes. May the rest of his life and his family’s be an unending nightmare.

  8. Amar
    March 27, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Its sad that people are just now outraged over this incident. This is nothing compared to past ones that have mostly not been touched by MSM, but left to blogs, HR reports or freelance journos reporting. How about shooting children for sport?

    Chris Hedges – A Gaza Diary

    …It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker.

    “Come on, dogs,” the voice booms in Arabic. “Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!”

    I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: “Son of a bitch!” “Son of a whore!” “Your mother’s cunt!”

    The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.

    A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children’s slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

    Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered—death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo—but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport…

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/hedgess-2001-account-of-attack-on-boys-anticipated-goldstone-report/

    • just
      March 27, 2016, 6:10 pm

      “Its sad that people are just now outraged over this incident.”

      Yes, it is.

      But never forget that many of us have been outraged by the actions of the majority of Israelis and their enablers toward Palestinians and Palestine for most of our lives, Amar.

    • Boomer
      March 27, 2016, 7:15 pm

      Powerful and disturbing. Brought to the people of Gaza by the people of Israel, with the full support of the governing elites of America.

    • Marnie
      March 28, 2016, 7:43 am

      That is absolutely foul. Where is the shame? They’re doubling down now in support of this murderer and it’s a power struggle between Netanyahu and Bennett. I hope it ends very badly for both of them.

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