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The Israeli army shot at me and 3 Palestinian kids in Gaza today

on 27 Comments

After a lovely day of drinking excessive amounts of tea with a few families in South Gaza (Faraheen and Khuza’a, to be exact), an Italian colleague, Silvia, who used to live in Khuza’a, suggested walking down the road towards the local school.  It was late afternoon, about 4:30 p.m. and dozens of children played in the area.  We walked past  slices of a giant concrete wall placed in the middle of the road.  The slivers reminded me of Israel’s Apartheid Wall in the West Bank — 25 feet of reinforced concrete.   The local villagers had apparently retrieved these sections from a former settlement and placed them there so that children could play outside while being (somewhat) protected from Israeli army gunfire. 

Silvia pointed to a school farther down the road.  “That’s where the children go to school,” she said.  The sun was beginning to set and the area was quite beautiful if one didn’t look to hard at the Israeli military towers n the distance.  I took some pictures, and even asked Silvia to take a photo of me.  Kids played nearby and a donkey cart passed us.  I photographed a house that looked like it had been bombed, but the bougainvillea had grown back in vibrant fuchsia.  Two boys playing with a piece of plastic ran towards us from farther up the road and begged me to take a photo.  I snapped a sloppy photo, and they eagerly checked their digital images on my camera.  One in a green sweater thought it was terribly funny that the  boy’s in a red hoodie’s head was missing in my photo. 

They ran up ahead, and we walked for about 15 seconds when I heard a strange whiz, a whistle, eerily close to my ear. I paused, a bullet?  Red hoodie and two younger boys up ahead hit the floor as I momentarily pondered the strange sound. 

The kids turned around and yelled at us to stupid foreigners to get down.  We bent down and started to walk away — fast — and they yelled at us to get completely on the ground.  The Israeli army left us no time to be scared. No gunshots over our heads.  No warnings.  A second bullet whizzed  past the three kids, and then us.  The Israelis were shooting at us from the towers 500 meters ahead. This time, we were on the ground. I continued to look at these 9-year-olds or 10-year-olds or whatever they were for cues–walking towards their school under Israeli fire was clearly routine for them and they knew what they were doing.  We waited on the ground for several minutes.  As I still had my camera in hand, I snapped a quick photo of them from the ground. 

A minute or two later a father and his toddler, also further up on the road came towards us and offered a ride on the back of his motorized cart. We jumped in and he “sped”  back to behind the wall.  Anyway, I got back to my apartment about an hour later, just in time for my Arabic class.  Even though I had actually studied this time, I couldn’t concentrate.  Why was the Israeli army shooting at our heads?   

And I realized this is what Palestinian first, second, third, fourth graders experience daily in Gaza. 

Radhika S. is a civil rights attorney and a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement.

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27 Responses

  1. October 29, 2011, 2:19 pm

    “Why was the Israelian Army shooting at our heads” ?

    Because they can.
    Because they know that even if they kill somebody , they won’t be punished for it at all.
    Because they are aiming at “unpeople”. They believe that Palestinians are sub-humans, untermenschen, sub-men.
    Because they know that their government, and Allmighty USA government are buddy, buddies and they share a lot.
    Because they are trained , custom-made psychopaths ,who also have an easy access to guns.

  2. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    October 29, 2011, 3:02 pm

    >I realized this is what Palestinian first, second, third,
    >fourth graders experience daily in Gaza.

    At least metaphorically, it’s what *all* Palestinians experience daily.

    Nice report. Stay safe, Radhika.

  3. Opti
    October 29, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Very outrageous since they shoot at kids and extremely sad because these events take place daily.

    This story should be plastered on every news site.

    Stolen from LowKey’s album:
    Israel is a terror state, they’re terrorists that terrorise,
    I testify, my television televised them telling lies,
    This is not a war, it is systematic genocide,
    But whatever they try, Palestine will never die!!!

  4. Opti
    October 29, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Also, check out this bounty set by Zionists on some newly released Palestinian prisoners ($100,000). Then the retards in Saudi Arabia match it on Israeli Soldiers and the Zionists raise it to $1,000,000 and Saudi nutjobs follow up with $1,000,000 for a Israeli Soldier.

    Israel is as fundamentalist as crazy as Saudi Arabia.

    • DBG
      October 30, 2011, 10:13 am

      I think the main difference here is it was a crown prince who set the bounty, in Israel it was just some nutzoid.

      • annie
        October 30, 2011, 10:43 am

        dbg, there are thousands of princes in SA and nutzoids rule the roost in israel, terrorize and murder people. but if you want to find a ‘main difference’ go for it.

      • Chaos4700
        October 30, 2011, 9:14 pm

        Did you miss the part where kids were shot at by the IDF, DBG? Or does that not bother you? “Reform” Judaism is supposed to mean that Arab children are invisible? Or just not worthy of human rights?

  5. Potsherd2
    October 29, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Does anyone know for sure what set off the latest exchange of fire?

    • October 29, 2011, 10:19 pm

      “Does anyone know for sure what set off the latest exchange of fire?”

      What “exchange”????

      What the hell are you talking about? Unarmed targets do not “exchange fire”.

      • Proton Soup
        Proton Soup
        October 30, 2011, 2:11 am

        i’m sure he means the one supposed rocket fired from Gaza that has set off the latest hostilities. whatever it takes to block statehood and get back on track to the process, you know.

      • Potsherd2
        October 30, 2011, 10:45 am

        Yes, that’s what I mean. The rocket exchange. The IDF story is suspicious, as usual.

        Although it does raise the question whether this gunfire might have been related, making the operators on the firing towers even more triggerhappy than usual.

        There is no open thread on this site where such questions can be properly asked.

  6. eljay
    October 29, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Hmmm…I wonder why the “humanist” Zio-supremacists have not yet chimed in with their “live #AND# let live!” chant.

  7. Am_America
    October 29, 2011, 10:43 pm

    Did your friends forget to mention elements in Gaza are firing rockets into Israel? Gaza will forever be a war zone until elements in that region stop lobbing missiles into Israel. As usual they were unprovoked a few days ago, then Israel response and things escalate.

    • Proton Soup
      Proton Soup
      October 30, 2011, 2:19 am

      well, you know what they call soldiers that intentionally target unarmed women and children, don’t you? they’re called terrorists.

      and i’m doubly amused that settlers attacking olive pickers are now choosing that old terrorist cliche of covering their faces.

    • October 30, 2011, 10:13 am

      Oh well, that explains it!!! Shooting at Rhadika and these kids is perfectly understandable then! Those IDF marksmen are simply doing their duty, as ordered by God.

    • Chaos4700
      October 30, 2011, 9:16 pm

      Where does the cycle of violence begin? Check the facts.

  8. Am_America
    October 29, 2011, 10:45 pm

    It also seems like the days of qassam rockets are over. the missile of choice is now the Grad (which was used by Hezbollah in 2006) and they are being fired my multi-missile firing mechanisms. Definitely an escalation.

    Unfortunately for the IJ, their leadership has taken a toll during this last exchange.

    • October 30, 2011, 10:15 am

      “It also seems like the days of qassam rockets are over. the missile of choice is now the Grad (which was used by Hezbollah in 2006) and they are being fired my multi-missile firing mechanisms. Definitely an escalation”

      Well, I suppose gobbling up Jerusalem, burning olive groves, and kidnapping children isn’t an incitement. Golly gee, whatever could those heathen savages be upset about?

  9. mig
    October 30, 2011, 3:34 am

    It also seems like the days of qassam rockets are over.

    Bye bye.

    the missile of choice is now the Grad (which was used by Hezbollah in 2006) and they are being fired my multi-missile firing mechanisms.

    Hezbollah has used those years. And multi-missile mech’s ? I dont think so.

    Unfortunately for the IJ, their leadership has taken a toll during this last exchange.

    What is IJ ?

  10. dahoit
    October 30, 2011, 11:14 am

    I know these bottle rockets or unsophisticated missiles(compared to Israels) are a response to Israeli provocations,but the response by Israel of lethality makes these attacks seem futile and ultimately unproductive as it gives Israel fertile propaganda among the sheeple who unaware of the conditions the Palestinians live under.In fact,is it possible Israel pays poor Palestinians off to shoot these for precisely that reason,to gain this propaganda?I notice Hamas is extremely reticent in their use, so is there any truth to this?

    • Chaos4700
      October 31, 2011, 8:11 am

      Israel slaughters whether or not anyone in Gaza fires rockets, Operation Cast Lead proved that. You can condemn the rocket attacks as unproductive and immoral (I do) but on a fundamental level they have NOTHING to do with Israeli attacks on civilians. Those will keep happening as long as there are Gazans who live, regardless of what they’re doing.

  11. Potsherd2
    October 30, 2011, 11:55 am

    The problem is that crimes like this shooting don’t count. No one reports on them, no one notices them, no one seems to think there is any kind of problem with them.

    If Gazans in retaliation shoot off a rocket into Israel, THAT is noticed. Zionists start in with their “shooting rockets” mantra as if the rocket fire happened in a vacuum, totally unprovoked. Israel bombs and strafes in reaction, and it’s just “defending itself.”

    If someone in Gaza built a tower and started firing from it into Sderot, it would be noticed. If someone in Gaza drove a tank across the border into Israel, it would be noticed. Outrage and condemnation would follow instantly, as would the bombers and missiles and drones. THAT would be “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

    People in Gaza have no such right.

  12. Potsherd2
    October 30, 2011, 2:19 pm
  13. RoHa
    October 31, 2011, 8:56 pm

    “Why was the Israeli army shooting at our heads? ”

    Meh. Why not?

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