On the second Friday of the Gaza protests, Israeli snipers shot nearly 500 Palestinians at the Gaza border, killing nine, and bringing the death total in two Fridays to 31. Last Friday’s carnage included the sniping of 6 journalists, killing one of them – 30-year-old Yaser Murtaja, even though he wore a flak jacket clearly marked PRESS.
This is not looking good, so the Israeli army has issued a response:
“The IDF does not intend to shoot at journalists, and the circumstances in which journalists were allegedly injured by IDF gunfire are unknown and are being investigated.”
This would be a contradiction of what Defense Minister Lieberman already promised – that “there would be no investigation”.
Indeed, Lieberman continues to contradict the official army message (as quoted in Haaretz):
“I don’t know who is and who isn’t a photographer… We’ve seen dozens of cases where Hamas terrorists used ambulances, dressed up in Red Crescent personnel and disguised himself as journalists. We won’t take any chances.”
So Lieberman is basically saying, that “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” that journalists could possibly be hiding slingshots in their cameras – so let’s not take that chance.
Lieberman is the highest in the military chain of command. The official IDF statement about “not intending” to shoot journalists is what the army is supposed to say, and what it is supposedly saying – but what Lieberman is saying is what is actually being said.
The claim of fearing a terrorist in the guise of the press in such a situation would be ridiculous, if it weren’t lethal. It is only further exposing the criminality of the Israeli shoot-to-kill policy and its claims to ‘defense’.
While Israel is speaking with two tongues, Palestinians are being murdered by Israeli snipers behind dirt mounds. And those soldiers know how to translate the ‘ambiguity’. The ‘official statement’ is just political correctness. The Defense Minister is voicing the actual policy and promising impunity.