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Why the poet Dareen Tatour was convicted of incitement

Israel/Palestine
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On May 3, 2018, exactly two and a half years after the indictment was filed against her, Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet from Reineh in the Galilee, was convicted of three counts of “incitement to violence”. For one of the three publications she was also convicted of “supporting a terrorist organization”.

Judge Adi Bambiliya-Einstein’s hall at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court was full of supporters of Tatour and representatives of the Arab and Hebrew media. The judge usually sternly and resolutely conducts the hearings. In the past she even addressed the audience directly to explain how the tiresome and lengthy procedure she is conducting is entirely intended to bring out truth and justice. But this time, just when justice was supposed to come out, she announced in advance that the verdict was long and therefore she would read only a small part of it, and that little she murmured in a low voice barely audible in the hall. Only once did she raise her voice, when she quoted a precedent-setting ruling praising the importance of free speech. Finally, when she reached her conclusions, she mentioned only the section numbers in which she convicted the defendant and hurried out of the courtroom. We had to wait for the written version of the verdict to be handed over to Attorney Gaby Lasky who explained to us the meaning of the verdict: conviction on all charges.

The plea for punishment was heard on May 31. The prosecutor sought to impose on Tatour a prison term of between 15 and 26 months, more than any other defendant who was tried for similar offenses. The sentencing is expected to be issued on July 31. In the meantime, I went back to reading the verdict in order to try to understand on what grounds Tatour was convicted, even though in all the publications for which she was accused there was neither any call for violence nor support for any organization waging armed struggle against Israel.

There is no innocent Arab

The affair of the poet Dareen Tatour began with a series of mistakes.

On October 9, 2015, at a central bus station in Afula, a woman named Israa Abed, who was holding a knife, was mistakenly suspected of intending to carry out an attack. She was shot by soldiers and security personnel. The picture of the wounded Israa lying on the floor of the station was published by Dareen Tatour as the background picture for her Facebook page. Next to her was a profile picture with the inscription “I am the next martyr” – a picture used by many activists to protest the ease with which innocent Palestinian civilians are repeatedly killed by settlers, the occupation army and the Israel Police.

A screenshot of the Facebook page with a picture of Israa Abed and the inscription “I am the next martyr” was transmitted by an anonymous source to the Nazareth police, who interpreted it as if Tatour intended to carry out an attack. In a pre-dawn semi-military operation, the police, accompanied by a Border Police force, raided Tatour’s house and arrested her without a search order or detention warrant. She was held for hours in a police car in the yard of the police station in Nazareth, while the policemen were insulting her and bragging of having caught “a terrorist”. In the first interrogation, that same morning, she was accused of “threatening to harm others and threatening the security of the state”.

The interrogators quickly understood that Tatour was not planning to carry out any attack. But, instead of releasing her and sending her home, they began a strenuous investigation of her two Facebook pages, her YouTube channel, her blog and all the material on her computer and on her phone. Given that Tatour is a poet, photographer and tireless writer, who responded in real time to many events, the fact that they did not find any statement beyond the norm is noteworthy. But what did not appear in the texts themselves was added by the interrogators with their interpretation. Finally they chose one poem and two Facebook statuses and, on November 2, 2015, filed an indictment.

An important part of the indictment and the court hearings relates to the period in which the publications appeared: early October 2015. In the indictment, the prosecution stresses that during that period “many attacks were carried out against Israeli Jewish citizens”. They claimed that Tatour’s publications should be interpreted, against this background, as a dangerous call to carry out attacks. Tatour, in her police interrogations and her testimony in the court, mentioned that at the same time many other things also happened: innocent Arab citizens were targeted; there were many restrictions preventing Muslims from praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque; there was a surge in popular Palestinian struggle. She showed in detail how her publications explicitly relate to these events and constitute a legitimate protest.

In summing up the defense case, showing that the harm to innocent people was a tangible danger that characterized the period and justified Tatour’s warning/protest, Lasky noted that at that time many prominent Israeli officers, ministers and politicians publicly called for the killing of both suspects and terrorists. She continued to list two cases: the lynching of an Ethiopian citizen named Haftom Zarhum, who was mistakenly suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack at the central bus station in Be’er Sheva on October 18, and an incident on October 21, 2015, in which an ultra-Orthodox guard named Simcha Hodadatov was shot dead in Jerusalem after being mistakenly suspected by soldiers.

It is no coincidence that, according to the dominant Israeli narrative, these are the only two cases of killing innocents at a period when scores of Arab citizens were fatally shot. In these two cases, the mistake in identification was clear – the casualties were not Arabs. The concept of an innocent Arab victim is simply not recognized in “Israeli speak”. If an Arab is hurt in any circumstances, the system makes sure to prove his guilt in retrospect. The same is true of Tatour herself – who warned against this system and became a victim of it. Because she was unjustly suspected and hurt, the entire system mobilized to prove her guilt in retrospect.

Three criminalized words: Intifada, Qawem, Shahid

The entire conviction revolves around Hebrew interpretation of three Arabic words that appear in the texts published by Tatour: Intifada, Qawem and Shahid.

The word “intifada” – shuddering – is used in various historical contexts to describe popular struggles against oppression. The judge criminalized the usage of this word by citing a ruling from Israel’s “Supreme Court” which discussed the case against the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra’ed Salah. The judge quotes this ruling at length, coming at end to the final conclusion: “This term has become a generic name for a violent Palestinian uprising… Any reasonable person will easily see that this is how this term is perceived by everyone…” (The verdict, page 200 of the trial’s protocol). Thus, the Israeli courts claim to be the final arbiter not only of matters of Israeli law, but also on the Arabic language. Moreover, they go under our skin and claim to know what we all think and what we understand when we hear the term intifada.

Tatour used the word “qawem” (resist) in her poem and in the tag of one of her posts. Is it forbidden to oppose government policy? In her police interrogations, the trial and the verdict, the police, the prosecution and the judge acted to prove that this was not legitimate resistance. In the absence of any call for violence in the statements published by Tatour, they tried to fill the gap with the desired violence by claiming that she had published a violent video in which you can see clashes between stone throwing Palestinian youth and soldiers firing at them. They also claimed that Tatour was responsible for the possible reactions of anyone who might see her publications, not only reasonable readers.

The Arabic word “shahid”, meaning “martyr”, has a simple Hebrew translation that is parallel to it in many ways – “halal” (חלל). In both languages this word can be used both for victims of disaster, war or occupation and for those who died in other tragic circumstances. Nevertheless, the interrogators, the prosecution and the judge insisted on using the Arabic word “shahid”. They consistently attribute to this word an aggressive meaning that doesn’t exist in Arabic.

During the trial, the defense provided extensive explanations, including by the expert witness Dr. Yoni Mendel, on the customary use of the title “shahid” for victims of the occupation. The fact that a Palestinian who was killed during a violent action against the occupation is also known as Shahid refers to the fact that he was killed, not to the violent action he carried out. The same is true with the Hebrew word “halal”, as IDF casualties are called “halalim” regardless of what they did, or did not do, before their death. Contrary to this evidence, the judge finally concluded that in fact this was a word with two different translations/meanings: “innocent victim” or “a terrorist”. Much of the verdict, as we shall see below, is based on this misconception and on the argument that Tatour’s statements about “martyrs” refer to “suicide terrorists” and would be understood as such by her readers.

The video and the poem

The first factual clause in the indictment is Tatour’s publication of the poem “Resist My People, Resist Them”. Its translation into Hebrew, which was done by a policeman from the Nazareth police, appears in full in the indictment. In order to attribute to the poem a violent character, which is not found in the words themselves, the prosecution turned to the manner in which the poem was published: On YouTube, Tatour reads the poem’s lyrics to the background of a video showing clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and occupation soldiers in the village of Silwad in the West Bank.

Tatour explained in her testimony in court that these are typical images of the reality of the occupation to which we are all routinely exposed for decades. The prosecutor tried to escalate the violence in the video. She repeated in the indictment, during the hearings and in her summaries the claim that the video contained “violent acts, including masked individuals throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the security forces and various disturbances.” The defense in its summaries noted that, throughout the video, no Molotov cocktails can be seen.

The judge’s reference in the verdict to the content of the video characterizes the approach of many judges who spent their best years in the prosecution and still operate from the same approach. First she cites the indictment in its entirety, including the Molotov cocktails. Later, when she describes the video with her own words, she omits the Molotov cocktails without mentioning the prosecution’s mistake. Instead, she demonstrates creativity and tries to fill in the lacunae in her own language, portraying the violence in the video as particularly grave. She writes:

“A video that is entirely violent, with masked men throwing stones not only by their hands, but also by using various means that look like ropes, intended to extend the range and increase the intensity of the damage. You see burning tires, burning of an Israeli flag, throwing stones at an army jeep, IDF soldiers filmed running after a suspect and unable to catch him, a woman arguing with IDF soldiers, IDF soldiers standing in front of demonstrators, and rioting.” (The verdict, p. 186 of the trial’s protocol).

It can be understood that, under this interpretation, a woman who argues with soldiers is expressing violence and rioting…

Interpretation of the poem

During the trial, it seemed that the prosecutor gradually understood that there was a problem with an indictment based on a poem. In her cross examination of defense witnesses she began to put in doubt whether it was indeed a poem. In her summaries, the prosecutor has consistently refrained from naming it by the explicit word “poem” and has consistently used alternative phrases such as “the text accompanying the video.”

The judge, on the contrary, decided to take on the task of interpreting and judging poetry heads on. She diligently and meticulously printed side by side, line by line, the two translations that were submitted to her: the translation of the policeman and the alternative translation of the professional translator, Dr. Mendel, which was provided by the defense. After a detailed comparison of the two translations, the judge concluded that there is no substantive difference between them and that she prefers to base herself on the professional translation of Dr. Mendel. But, in practice, she uses the words of Dr. Mendel, while taking them out of context, in order to attribute to the poem the opposite meaning of what was written in the expert opinion he presented to the court.

Dr. Mendel, based on extensive research he has conducted on that subject, presented to the Court the phenomenon of non-translation of words from Arabic to Hebrew, and the subsequent demonization of their meaning in the Hebrew discourse. In this context he explained the line in the poem “Follow the convoy of martyrs”. He stated that the translation given by the policeman “and follow the convoy of shahids” is a clear example of the distortion of meaning created by non-translation. In the Hebrew connotation, the term shahid was demonized and might be mistakenly understood as a “suicide bomber”. From all of Dr. Mendel’s opinion, the judge adopts only his comment related to the misinterpretation that might be given to this line in the poem by the Hebrew readers of the mistranslation. On this basis she states that the defense witness:

“explicitly noted that he does not dispute that it was written in the poem, in literal translation: ‘Follow the convoy of “shahids”’, a phrase that can be understood as ‘a call by the poet to go out and attack Israelis, and thus become a shahid and join terrorist-shahids who harmed Israelis'” (the verdict, p. 190 of the trial transcript).

In this way Mendel’s explicit warning of wrong translation (actually of non-translation) leading to erroneous interpretation is used as justification for adopting this misinterpretation.
In the course of the police investigations and her testimony in the court, Tatour made it clear that the martyrs that are mentioned in her poem are… the same martyrs that are explicitly mentioned in the poem itself: the children who were burned for no reason (Muhammad Abu Khdeir and Ali Dawabsha), Hadeel al-Hashlamoun who was shot at an army checkpoint in al-Khalil (Hebron) – all victims of the occupation and the settlers’ terror.

Hadeel al-Hashlamoun just before she was killed on Sept. 22, 2015. The bipartisan House resolution on Palestinian incitement calls her a terrorist.

The judge, in her decision to interpret the line “Follow the convoy of martyrs” as incitement to violence, expands her authority from legal matters into the depths of poetry. She states that it is impossible that the martyrs mentioned in line 11 in the poem are in any way related to those innocents – as those are mentioned in a completely different place, in lines 15-26 of the poem! On the contrary, the judge decided that the martyrs are clearly “suicide bombers”, although there is no mention of such actions in the poem or in the accompanying video. But bloody terrorists are always everywhere in Israeli consciousness wherever Palestinian resistance is mentioned. Finally, although the martyrs in line 11 are not related to the victims in line 15 and on, the opposite connection clearly exists, as the judge writes:

“A reasonable person who looks into the poem will immediately understand that the words: ‘They burned the children without a reason and they sniped Hadeel in public’ were intended to increase the incitement, to explain, motivate and justify the acts of the uprising to the settlers’ robbery, to follow the shahids, and to tear the agreement” (the verdict, p. 192 of the trial’s protocol).

After all, as is clear to every reasonable Israeli, it is impossible that a Palestinian poet would sincerely cry for the victims of her people or aspire to prevent further victims – any mention of them, of course, is only for incitement.

Finally, in the summary of the convicting decision about the poem, the judge states:

“This is a poem that includes a call to follow the convoy of ‘shahids’, a word associated with perpetrators of murderous attacks on ideological grounds, as well as with martyrs and victims. The connotation in the poem was clarified.” (ibid, p. 202).

Here the judge closes the circle of guilt – from the violence that does not exist in the poem itself through the stone throwing in the background clip to the inevitable conclusion… “perpetrators of murderous attacks”!

Israa Abed and the next martyr

A particularly Kafkaesque trap was the accusation in “incitement to violence” based on the publication of an image of Israa Abed lying on the floor of the central bus station in Afula after she was shot, as the background image for Tatour’s Facebook page, alongside a profile picture with the writing “I am the next martyr”. In her interrogations, Tatour recounted how she kept looking at the video showing the moment Israa was shot and was convinced that she was not going to attack anyone. Tatour and other activists used the writing “I am the next martyr” to protest against unjustified killing – from the time of the murder of the young Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem in July 2014 and the subsequent murder of Kheir Hamdan by Israeli police in Kafr Kana in November 2014. The meaning is simple – when Arabs are killed indiscriminately, each one of us can be a victim.

Israa Abed as she was shot in Afula bus station.

In practice, indeed, barely a day has passed since Israa Abed was suspected and shot, and suspicions fell on Dareen Tatour – precisely because of the publication of Israa’s picture and the protest writing. Luckily Tatour was not shot but detained. However, after it became clear that this was a false suspicion, the legal authorities began to carry out a legal “confirmation of killing”.
Fortunately, Israa Abed herself survived the shooting. Even before the indictment was filed against Tatour, an indictment was filed against Abed, in the same court, attributing to her the possession of a knife and threats, but not assault and no intention of carrying out an attack. This did not prevent the police officers, who testified in court, from claiming that Tatour had published the picture of “the terrorist.” Even in her summaries, the prosecutor reiterated her claim that what Tatour knew at the time of the publication of the picture was that Abed “came to stab Jews”, because that was what was claimed at the time in the Israeli media. Again, the prosecution demands monopoly over everyone’s consciousness – as if Tatour must believe the lies of the Israeli media and not what she saw in the video documenting the events.

The judge, like Alexander the Great at the time, solved this Gordian knot with a sword. She removed Israa Abed from this case also, claiming that the link between the publication of her picture and the inscription “I am the next martyr” was not proven. On the other hand, she reiterated her position that Tatour uses the word “shahid” in the sense of “suicide bomber” and therefore determined that the publication of the status “I am the next martyr” in itself constitutes incitement to violence.

How was “support for a terrorist organization” added?

During the trial we spoke with lawyers who know the “rules of the game” in the Israeli legal system. Almost no one expected that Tatour would be acquitted, no matter how unfounded the charges against her. Anyone who tried to be optimistic said that the judge, in an attempt to show some balance, might acquit Tatour at least from the charge of “supporting a terrorist organization.” This accusation is based entirely on the following status, published on Facebook, as it was translated to Hebrew in the indictment:

“Allah Akbar[*] and praise his name… The Islamic Jihad movement declares in a statement the continuation of the Intifada across the West Bank… continuation means expansion… That is, to all Palestine… And we have to begin inside the Green Line… To the victory of Al-Aqsa and we declare it a general Intifada…#Resist”.

[* The indictment – while translating this quote into Hebrew – leaves “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is Greater”, in Hebraized Arabic.]

Apart from a minor inaccuracy in the translation (“loyalty” to al-Aqsa, not “victory”), there was no dispute about the publication itself. Tatour explained that she had copied this status from some site because of her support for the popular struggle for the right to pray in the Al-Aqsa mosque, a struggle that was expanding at that time into what she thought deserved the name intifada. She did not attach much importance to the mention of Islamic Jihad. Taking into account the prosecution’s method to attribute a violent character to any type of Palestinian struggle, it is clear how this status is interpreted as incitement to violence. But “Islamic Jihad” is only mentioned as a matter of fact as someone who called for an intifada in the West Bank, as opposed to “us” who have to wage a struggle within the Green Line. So where is the support here?

Two experienced police interrogators who repeatedly interrogated Tatour about this status asked her only about the call for intifada, and did not attribute to her any support to “Islamic Jihad”. Only when the interrogation material reached the State Attorney’s Office for the preparation of an indictment, somebody up there decided to convert the case into a “state security” affair by adding the clause about “support of a terrorist organization”. Among other things, the addition of this section helped to extend the detention of Tatour until the end of the legal proceedings, and hence her transfer to house arrest with electronic bracelet, her forced deportation from the area and all the abuse that she has undergone in the past three years as a “danger to state security”.

In her attempt to justify the conviction and cover for the lack of evidence in the text that Tatour published, the judge not only interprets the text, but also rewrites it in her language in a way that is fundamentally different from the original:

“The perpetrator publishes a publication in the name of a murderous terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad, a publication that is not simple but calls for an all-out intifada in all of Palestine, including the Green Line, with the organization’s name at the top of the message” (the verdict, p. 206 of the protocol).

To make this even clearer, the judge even repeats it.

“A murderous terrorist organization declares in a declaration of a general intifada within the Green Line – and the accused supports the organization by way of distributing the declaration”. (ibid)

Not by mistake

Tatour was mistakenly suspected and the entire investigation into her case began from this mistake. But her conviction is not a mistake. She was clearly identified as a proud Palestinian Arab who resists her oppression and the oppression of her people. For this she was convicted.

Identifying and understanding the Arab, men and women, the ability to expose her or his hidden thoughts and dark intentions, is the specialty of every “reasonable” Israeli. It begins with children’s literature, when we read in the children’s adventure novels Hasamba how “the Egyptian officer picked up the phone viciously and smiled cruelly.”

Even if ostensibly everything the Arab does is to distort his face in pain when the Israeli soldier steps on his neck, the system will always be able to identify his hidden aggressive intentions.

About Yoav Haifawi

Yoav Haifawi is an anti-Zionist activist and maintains the blogs Free Haifa and Free Haifa Extra.

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7 Responses

  1. Boomer
    Boomer
    July 28, 2018, 8:33 am

    Thank you, Yoav, for this powerful report. Unfortunately, repression can often be effective. The Atlantic has an interesting article (link below) about some social science research that suggests targeted assassination of resistance leaders can be effective. Imprisonment, while less drastic, can also be effective. We celebrate the exceptions to the rule: the end of white domination in South Africa, the fall of communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe, but these came after generations lived under oppressive regimes.

    Excerpt:

    “When you build a model, you can accidentally produce recommendations that you weren’t intending. Years ago, Wildman built a model to figure out what makes some extremist groups survive and thrive while others disintegrate. It turned out one of the most important factors is a highly charismatic leader who personally practices what he preaches. “This immediately implied an assassination criterion,” he said. “It’s basically, leave the groups alone when the leaders are less consistent, [but] kill the leaders of groups that have those specific qualities. It was a shock to discover this dropping out of the model. I feel deeply uncomfortable that one of my models accidentally produced a criterion for killing religious leaders.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/07/artificial-intelligence-religion-atheism/565076/

  2. TerryHeaton
    TerryHeaton
    July 28, 2018, 9:57 am

    This is a profoundly good piece of reporting, and it’s too bad the mainstream press would never consider such an effort. I’m really thankful I was able to read this, and I’m going to pass it along. What bothers me most is the degree to which the narrative that justifies all of this is top-of-mind among the Israeli population. It is truly a remarkable work of hasbara, one that goes even farther than what the Nazis accomplished among the German population. It’s stunning in the complex weaving of falsehoods necessary to sustain the hatred, but there it is. How true the statement that in Israel (and among the white evangelical Christians who fully support Zionism) there is no such thing as an innocent Arab, my family included. It grieves my heart. Thank you, Yoav.

  3. annie
    annie
    July 28, 2018, 11:44 am

    A screenshot of the Facebook page with a picture of Israa Abed and the inscription “I am the next martyr” was transmitted by an anonymous source to the Nazareth police, who interpreted it as if Tatour intended to carry out an attack.

    imho, the key to understanding the gravity of threat Tatour poses to Israeli security, and the pressing need to silence her, indeed, to understand “Why the poet Dareen Tatour was convicted of incitement”, is contained neither in the poem nor the verdict but in “Documenting the Nakba: an interview with poet Dareen Tatour” https://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/documenting-interview-dareen/ also by Yoav Haifawi :

    Dareen published some of her documentary footage on the website Palestine Remembered, a database of destroyed Palestinian villages, as well as her Youtube channel, Facebook pages and blog. Eventually she established a website to warehouse her material, “ynbu3.com” (yanbu’a in Arabic means “water spring”). While under house arrest, the court prohibited Dareen from accessing the internet. Not able to keep up her ynbu3 registration, this is no longer accessible. Dareen said she fears that the precious materials she stored on the website may have been lost forever. Similarly, much of her documentary footage was saved a computer that police confiscated in the course of her arrest and trial.

    When ynbu3 was up and running, Dareen used the site to give new dimensions to the Palestinian struggle by building connections between the internally displaced and refugees beyond the borders. Each side gave what the other could not. The people that stayed in Palestine could visit the sites of destroyed villages and send pictures. Refugees contacted the site to request that local activists find what remained of their houses or photo for them locations that hosted endeared memories. People in the refugee camps conveyed a treasure trove of precious memories and Dareen interviewed them by Skype and wrote their stories. She also helped to coordinate visits of refugees that now hold European passports to their destroyed villages. She produced three films about such “return visits”to the villages of Al-Damun, Al-Birweh and Tirat Haifa.

    In 1995, a few years before Dareen began her documentation effort, representatives from groups of displaced Palestinians from different towns and villages united to form The National Committee for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel. In 1998, on the 50th anniversary of the Nakba, they started the tradition of “The Annual March of Return.” In the year 2000 the national committee established itself as an officially registered association.

    When activist with the internally displaced association discovered Dareen’s documentaries on Palestine Remembered, they invited her to take part in a guides’ course. Dareen then joined the association and found another platform for her effort to preserve Palestinian memories. She brought together refugees from the Nakba and visitors to the destroyed villages so that the refugees could share their memories. Dareen filmed the encounters.

    who was the anonymous source who originally contacted the Nazareth police? what were they doing on Tatour ‘s facebook page that day and how long had they been checking up on her. was the same source also familiar with her other, arguably more valuable website. was she targeted because of that archived material, that gave “new dimensions to the Palestinian struggle by building connections between the internally displaced and refugees beyond the borders” or the work she was doing with refugees?

    is that not perhaps, truly, Why the poet Dareen Tatour was convicted of incitement.

    a thought worth considering. and thank you very much Yoav Haifawi .

    • johneill
      johneill
      July 29, 2018, 2:48 am

      thanks annie, for the extra depth. it never made sense to me that strident poetry was the state’s main problem with ms. tatour. following her trial through news updates and internet comments highlighted this practice to me: “Identifying and understanding the Arab, men and women, the ability to expose her or his hidden thoughts and dark intentions, is the specialty of every “reasonable” Israeli.” the monsters we invent become more frightening the more time we spend examining them – it’s little wonder that whoever might have been following her work was triggered by her words.

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    July 28, 2018, 2:33 pm

    Another day, another slaughter of defenseless Palestinians, including children:

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israel-kills-children-gaza-protests

    The Electronic Intifada

    “Israel kills children in Gaza protests”
    By Maureen Clare Murphy Rights and Accountability 28 July 2018

    EXCERPT:
    “Three Palestinians, including two children, were fatally shot during the 18th consecutive Friday of protests held under the banner of the Great March of Return in the occupied Gaza Strip.

    “An 11-year-old boy, identified as Majdi Ramzi Kamal al-Satari, died after being shot in the head east of Rafah in southernmost Gaza.

    “Israeli forces shot dead 11-year-old Majdi Ramzi Kamal al-Satri near the perimeter fence in Rafah, Gaza on July 27. He sustained a gunshot wound to the head around 5:30 pm local time and was pronounced dead at the European Gaza Hospital.

    “Ghazi Muhammad Abu Mustafa, 43, died after he was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

    “Abu Mustafa’s wife, Lamia, a nurse and paramedic, treated her husband for an injury during a protest more than a month ago, according to Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the health ministry spokesperson in Gaza.

    “Lamia Abu Mustafa was working again this Friday when her husband was brought in with a fatal gunshot wound to the head, al-Qedra said, giving his praise to Gaza’s medical workers for their endurance amid great personal pain and suffering.

    “On Saturday, Mumin Fathi al-Hams had died from gunshot injuries he sustained on Friday during protests east of Rafah. Defense for Children International Palestine said that the slain youth, shot in the back, was 16 years old.

    “Israeli forces shot 16-year-old Moemen Fathi Yousef al-Hams with live ammunition in the back near the perimeter fence in Rafah, Gaza on July 27. He was transferred to the European Gaza Hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries on July 28. .

    “Some 150 others were injured during Friday’s protests, most of them by live fire, including children, women, paramedics and journalists. Six were reported to be in serious condition.

    Journalists under attack
    “Israeli forces shot a freelance journalist covering the protests in Rafah last Friday.
    The bullet went through Zaki Yahya Awadallah’s ‘right leg below the knee, severing the artery, and pierced his left leg,’ the Committee to Protect Journalists stated. Awadallah was not wearing any protective gear that identified him as a journalist at the time, according to the international press freedom watchdog.

    “’Awadallah said on Facebook on 21 July that the artery in his right leg was ligated and he is in stable condition,’” the Committee to Protect Journalists stated.

    “The group added that Awadallah has been covering the protests since they began on 30 March, posting photos to his Facebook page.

    “The same day that Awadallah was shot, the Committee to Protect Journalists added, freelance photojournalist Hiba Awad was hit in an arm with a tear gas canister.
    Two Palestinian journalists have been killed while covering the protests.

    “Last Friday a journalist learned that her brother had been killed in an Israeli attack when she rushed to the scene of heavy artillery shelling against a Hamas monitoring post in eastern Khan Younis.”

    “My brother’s remains were lying in pieces in front of me, and I didn’t know,” Maryam Abu Daqqa stated.

    “More than 150 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the launch of the Great March of Return.

    “Nearly 200 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been slain by Israeli occupation forces and armed civilians since the beginning of the year.

    “Eight Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same period.”

  5. YoniFalic
    YoniFalic
    July 29, 2018, 12:10 am

    I have to disagree with equating shahid with halal (casualty). Hebrew has a perfectly good cognate to Arabic shahid, and it has same meaning. The word is sahed.

    Here is Job 16:19.

    גם-עתה הנה-בשמים עדי ושהדי במרמים

    Tatour was saying that she would one day be a witness to the barbarism and to the murderous of IDF monsters.

    As I was once one of those murderous IDF monsters, I can’t disagree.

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