62% rise in israel’s arrests of Palestinian children

62% rise in Israel’s arrests of Palestinian children

MEMO | July 19, 2017

Palestinian children are often beaten and strip searched at arrest

Some 331 Palestinian minors were arrested by Israel between January and May this year, a 62 per cent increase on figures from 2012 to 2015, NGO Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) revealed yesterday.

According to a report released by the human rights group, Israeli forces regularly abuse Palestinian children, depriving them of food, subjecting them to beatings and preventing them from accessing legal counsel.

Accountability Programme Director at DCIP, Ayed Abu Eqtaish, stated: “For over a decade, ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system has been widespread and systematic.”

From the persistent and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children, to the systematic denial of their due process rights, emerges a system of control far removed from justice.

DCIP records of cases between January and June also show that 81 per cent of Palestinian children were strip searched upon detention, two thirds were denied legal counsel prior to interrogation and only three had a parent present during proceedings.

Read: Palestinian boy, 13, loses eye after Israeli forces shoot him

The report details that one of the youngest children to be detained was 12-year-old Suheib from a refugee camp in the occupied Ramallah-area. He was allegedly throwing stones when he was knocked to the ground by Israeli officers and then restrained, beaten and blindfolded. He was subsequently held overnight at a police station where he was interrogated and denied food for 24 hours.

In another case, a 13-year-old boy known only as Anas M. was tortured as an Israeli soldier grabbed his neck and attempted to strangle him.

Israel prosecutes up to 700 children each year in military courts. Last month DCIP held a congressional meeting on the situation of Palestinian children over 50 years of illegal occupation, concluding that Israel’s actions against minors outdoes all security rationale

 

Why is Mahmoud Abbas letting children die in Gaza?

Source

Palestinians hold placards condemning PA leader Mahmoud Abbas for his complicity of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, at a rally in Gaza City, 9 July. Mohammed Asad APA images

The deeply unpopular Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is helping Israeli occupation authorities inflict horrendous suffering on people in the blockaded Gaza Strip, as part of a cruel and cynical political game.

It is a campaign that in recent weeks has led to the deaths of more than a dozen Palestinians denied medical treatment outside Gaza – the most recent, a little girl called Yara Ismail Bakhit.

Israel and Abbas are doing this with the complicity of a so-called international community that remains silent about the unfolding catastrophe.

Closely allied with Israel, Abbas has long defined collaboration with its occupation forces as a “sacred” duty.

This collaboration has included encouraging Israel, from the very start, to tighten its blockade of Gaza.

The decade-long siege has brought the 2 million residents caged into the territory to perhaps their most dire crisis in a period that has included successive military assaults that have killed thousands of people.

On Thursday, Gaza’s only power plant shut down after emergency fuel supplies ran out.

The territory is now dependent on just 70 megawatts of power supplied from Israel, a fraction of the 500 megawatts it needs each day.

A “power watch” feature in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz shows that Gaza City received just three hours of electricity on Wednesday, while some areas received four hours.

But with the power supply now below the all-time low it reached earlier this week, most residents face long stretches without any power at all amid the sweltering summer heat.

On top of the darkness and the heat, many in Gaza face a cut off of any contact with the outside world: the PA telecom company Paltel said that internet and telephone services to thousands of customers in Gaza have been severed as generators fail.

Unheeded warnings

On Wednesday, UN human rights officials emphasized that the latest power cuts “have deepened the humanitarian crisis with hospitals in precarious conditions, water shortages growing and untreated sewage being dumped into the Mediterranean.”

Their warnings will likely go unheeded, just like so many in recent months, including from the International Committee of the Red Cross that said in May that Gaza was on the brink of “systemic collapse.”

For months, health facilities across the territory have been in crisis and Gaza City’s main hospital has slashed vital surgeries because there isn’t enough power to run life support systems.

As treatment plants fail, the territory is swimming in sewage.

Yet the European Union, which never rests from trumpeting its alleged commitment to “human rights,” has maintained a determined silence which can only be interpreted as full support for the measures inflicting such suffering on Gaza.

Instead, the EU’s embassy in Tel Aviv as well as a top UN official, touted Abbas’ authority for collaborating with Israel to increase the electricity supply to Jenin, a town in the northern occupied West Bank.

 The timing of the announcement, along with a grotesque ribbon-cutting ceremony in which PA officials appeared alongside Israeli military officers, looked calculated to rub salt into the wounds of people in Gaza.

Finally, on Thursday, after months of ignoring Gaza, the EU, as part of the so-called Quartet, issued a vague statement of “concern” that said nothing about Israel’s responsibilities.

Israel’s responsibility

The UN experts emphasized that while Israel’s power cuts were nominally implemented at the request of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Israel remains legally responsible.

Previously, senior UN officials have attempted to play down Israel’s responsibility, shifting the blame to an internal dispute between the Abbas-run PA in Ramallah, and Hamas authorities that control the interior of Gaza.

In April, the PA told Israel it would no longer pay the full bill for electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, as part of Abbas’ campaign to oust Hamas by inflicting additional hardship on the population in Gaza.

Over the last month, Israel has sharply reduced the power it supplies to Gaza – the territory’s main source of electricity.

“Israel, as the occupier controlling the entry and exit of goods and people, bore the primary responsibility for the deterioration of the situation,” the UN human rights experts said on Wednesday, according to a UN press release.

Human rights groups previously affirmed that it is illegal for Israel, as the occupying power, to cut the electricity to Gaza no matter what Abbas says.

Despite the Israeli cabinet’s decision to accept the Palestinian Authority’s “cruel plan to further reduce the power supply to Gaza,” B’Tselem said last month, the situation in Gaza “is the result of Israel’s handiwork, achieved by its decade-long implementation of a brutal policy.”

Killing babies

Three-year-old Yara Ismail Bakhit, who suffered from a heart condition, died because she was denied a medical transfer out of Gaza.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, said on Thursday that the toddler, from the southern town of Khan Younis, is the 16th person to die in recent weeks because they weren’t able to secure a medical transfer.

Yara’s death is another sacrifice to Abbas’ campaign against the population in Gaza; it came about due to the delays his health ministry is imposing on requests for medical transfers to Israeli or West Bank treatment facilities.

The Ramallah health ministry must approve such requests before Israel does because it pays for any treatment provided in Israeli or West Bank hospitals.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has documented a steady decline in medical referrals since April – when Abbas’ renewed onslaught against the population in Gaza began.

PCHR said on Monday that the PA health ministry had failed to approve or renew referrals for “hundreds of patients suffering from serious and chronic diseases without displaying the reasons behind this decision.”

According to PCHR, the number of referrals dropped from almost 2,200 in March to about 1,700 in April and fell below 1,500 in May. In June, the PA approved just 500.

As of early June, medical authorities in Gaza had approved some 2,500 patients “suffering from serious diseases that have no treatment in Gaza” for treatment outside the territory. But a month and a half later, the Ramallah authorities had only approved 400.

PCHR said it was “shocked” that West Bank hospitals have begun refusing to see patients from Gaza because there is no guarantor of payment.

Meanwhile, Abbas’ health ministry has also cut the budget for medicines for Gaza, leading to an acute crisis that is putting the lives of hundreds of people, including children with cystic fibrosis and cancer patients, in grave danger.

PCHR said: “Denying patients their right to receive medical treatment abroad, in view of the absence of a proper alternative in Gaza, is a clear violation of the right to health ensured in the Palestinian Basic Law” – in effect the Palestinian Authority’s constitution.

PCHR calls on world governments to put pressure on Israel “in its capacity as an occupying power” to guarantee the rights of people in Gaza under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It also “calls upon the international community to pressurize the Palestinian Authority not to undermine the basic rights of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip” and to respect its obligations under international law to the Palestinian people it allegedly serves.

The problem is that the Palestinian Authority and its leader are tools in the hands of the so-called international community against the Palestinians and their cause.

Their role is to help Israel occupy and pacify the Palestinian population, even at the price of the lives of children in Gaza.

Palestinian child loses eye after israeli police shoot him on the balcony of his home

Source

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | July 11, 2017

 A 13-year old Palestinian boy suffered from a fractured eye socket, and total loss of one eye, after he was shot by Israeli police firing so-called ‘non-lethal weapons’ in al-Eesawiya, in east Jerusalem.

Nur Hamdan, 13, also suffered from other facial injuries when he was shot. He was standing on the second floor balcony of his family’s home when Israeli troops fired a sponge-tipped metal bullet directly at his face.

He was taken to a local clinic and immediately transferred to Hadassah Hospital, the largest hospital in East Jerusalem. He is the 16th Palestinian to have lost an eye from this type of bullet, according to human rights groups.

Child in hospital after losing eye

According to Israeli sources, the Israeli police invaded the neighborhood of al-Eesawiya when they received a report of a fight in the neighborhood.

When police arrived in the neighborhood with armored vehicles and automatic weapons, they reported that Palestinian youth began throwing stones.

The police said they then fired sponge-tipped bullets and other so-called ‘non-lethal weapons’ into the area – including at the child in the second story balcony of his home.

Nisreen Alyan of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel told reporters from Ha’aretz news, “This is a dangerous weapon that has already taken the life of one teen and caused head injuries to dozens of people, including children. Some lost their sight. It’s unacceptable that people who are on their balconies or near a window shouldn’t be safe, and should be injured by sponge-tipped bullets fired contrary to police regulations”.

The National AE newspaper reported in 2016 that the sponge-tipped bullet, known as bullet model 4557, is “capsule-like in shape, the bullets have a hard plastic base and a rounded tip covered in hard black foam. Some six centimetres long and three centimetres wide, they are heavier than the previous model used. While official authorisation did not come until January 2015, police had in fact been using them since July 2014 as violence escalated and eventually led to that year’s war on the Gaza Strip. While not designed to be lethal, the sponge-tipped bullet’s ability to inflict heavy damage has raised concern. Israeli police regularly use such bullets during clashes in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem.”

Mohammed Sonoqrot was killed by a sponge-tipped bullet in 2014. No officers were charged with misconduct of any kind. He was 16 years old

Palestine news

‘The Breath of God in Palestinian Children’–Christian Group Adopts Resolution on Israel

[ Ed. note – A very welcomed resolution has been adopted by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ. ]

By Anthony Mujaes

United Church of Christ | July 3, 2017

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ is calling for an end to what is being described as “traumatic” practices by Israeli military against Palestinian children.

A resolution, brought forward by 16 individual UCC churches, calls on the state of Israel to guarantee Palestinian children younger than age 18 their basic due process rights and to prohibit any use of torture or ill-treatment of detained juveniles in the occupied territories. Needing two-thirds of the votes from General Synod 2017 delegates, that resolution easily had the necessary support, with 79 percent of the votes in favor.

“The matter of this resolution hits home for me, when a 16-year-old Palestinian America from my home town (Tampa) was beaten unconscious and bloodied by Israeli police — who were never charged. His family has received no justice,” said Lorrin Sheppard, a delegate from the Florida Conference. “Unfortunately, his story is like many others.”

An estimated 500 to 700 Palestinian children are arrested by Israeli military personnel each year, charged with a crime and prosecuted in a military court system — instead of a civilian court system that is afforded to Israeli children.

“This resolution is about the breath of God in Palestinian children,” said Catherine Alder, a delegate of the Central Pacific Conference. “What is happening to them is against international law and against the law of love.”

This year is the 50th year of Israel’s occupation of the occupied territories — the West Bank (the land to the west of the Jordan River), Gaza (a strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt and Israel) and East Jerusalem — that it captured in 1967.

Proponents of the resolution — including the UCC Palestine-Israel Network (UCC-PIN), a grassroots group of UCC ministers and lay leaders seeking a just peace between the two peoples — believe that the occupation has created two separate legal systems. Jewish children living in the occupied territories who are arrested are prosecuted through civil courts because they are citizens of Israel.

“These two legal systems treat children of the same age committing the same infraction quite differently,” said the Rev. Leslie Schenk, chair of the committee that reviewed the resolution and pastor of Plymouth Congregational UCC in Madison, Wis. “As a young person said eloquently said during our discussion, ‘It seems like this should have come out a long time ago. Why hasn’t this happened yet?’”

Among the resolution’s other calls: for the UCC General Minister and President to communicate the resolution with Israel’s Prime Minister and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and with U.S. government officials; for the U.S. government to hold aid given to Israel, about $3.1 billion annually, to determine if it complies with the Foreign Assistance Act and isn’t used for human rights abuses; for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 194 other countries — including Israel in 1991 — have ratified; and for ecumenical engagement on the issue with Jews and Muslims.

The debate on the floor did include some dissent. Marisa Brown-Ludwig, a Massachusetts Conference delegate, said she “shares the heartbreak of everyone who has spoken [about the treatment of Palestinian children], but there are voices missing. This resolution targets the Israeli side of this tragedy in the Middle East.”

Just before the floor opened for debate, youth from the Central Atlantic Conference, participating in the Youth@General Synod program, were given a moment to present their perspective on the resolution — the first of their three presentations during the business sessions at General Synod.

Lucy Adkins, one of the three youth to speak, said, “I go to bed knowing I am safe and protected. Other children are not so fortunate.”

Palestinian Girl Sought Martyrdom on Her Last Day of School

Imagine being a young girl living under a brutal occupation. You’re in the eighth grade. You work hard at your lessons, but then on your last day of school before summer break you go out and seek martyrdom by stabbing an occupation soldier.

Earlier this month I put up a post about Nouf Infiaat, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot by Israeli forces after stabbing, and lightly wounding, an Israeli soldier. This happened on June 1 at a checkpoint at the entrance to an Israeli settlement known as Mevo Dotan–located in the northern West Bank not far from the Palestinian village of Yabad, where Nouf lived.

Nouf was shot several times in the midsection and taken to a hospital, where she died the following day. What is perhaps most memorable about it all is that a video surfaced, one filmed shortly after the shooting, which showed the young girl writhing in pain on the ground as Israeli settlers gathered around her calling her a “bitch” and telling her to die.

Since posting that article, I’ve come across a few items of interest I thought I would pass along. According to a report here, June 1 was the last day of school in Yabad before recessing for summer break. Just a short while before showing up at Mevo Dotan with a knife, Nouf had received her certificate for passing the eighth grade.

“She told me she was going to pick up her school certificate and I was waiting for her return. But she was planning to get another type of certificate: martyrdom,” says Nouf’s mother, who is quoted in the story.

I’m guessing that Nouf, though she was only 16, knew fully well that carrying out a stabbing attack at a checkpoint manned by heavily armed soldiers would almost certainly result in her death. I would also guess that this is not something she decided to do suddenly on the spur of the moment. Most likely she thought about it for a long time. So why did she decide to carry out the attack on the last day of school? We can only surmise that for some reason completing the eighth grade before laying down her life was important to her.

Nouf died on June 2. Two days later, on June 4, the city of New York held a rather disgusting “Celebrate Israel” parade that was attended by thousands. The parade is an annual event in New York (which kind of makes me glad I don’t live there):

You’ll notice that one of the “dignitaries” marching in the procession was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I put up a post about Cuomo last year after he signed an executive order terminating all state contracts with businesses or organizations supporting a boycott of Israel. In that post I noted the hypocrisy of the governor, who, while taking a slash and burn approach to the BDS movement, was at the time lending support to a boycott of North Carolina over that state’s law prohibiting transgender bathrooms. In other words, don’t boycott Israel, but heck, go ahead and boycott a US state if you want to. That’s okay.

On June 5–one day after the parade and three days after Nouf’s death from gunshot wounds–the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset marked the 50th anniversary of the “reunification” of Jerusalem by holding a “joint session” that was broadcast simultaneously to both legislative bodies.

 photo jointsession_zpsv4ld9pyn.jpg

“After thousands of years in exile, the Jewish people are finally back home,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Home in the land of their ancestors. Home in the land that so many have died to defend. And home in their city of Jerusalem, the eternal capital never to be divided again.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuri Edelstein also spoke, both calling for the continued Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, both claiming that only Israel can guarantee free access to the city’s holy sites, while, hypocritically, in their remarks, wholly ignoring the fact that most Palestinians are denied entry to Jerusalem without Israeli-issued permits and thus making a mockery of the claim of free access.

On the same day, June 5, three days after Nouf’s death, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution saying that “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”

What kind of people would hold a parade to “celebrate” a country  like Israel? What kind of people view themselves as innocent victims of eternal persecution while laying entitlement to what some have referred to as a 3000-year-old land claim? How is it that this oh-so-very-esteemed and lionized country could create the conditions that would drive a 16-year-old girl to seek martyrdom on the day of her her graduation from eighth grade while leaders of the Western world do nothing but applaud, celebrate, and give their blessings? What does it say about the world we live in?

Nouf Infiaat–may the name live on. We may not agree with her act of violence, but she died for what she believed in. And when compared with Congress/Knesset scoundrels or parading, flag-waving Zionist zombies, she is far more worthy of respect.

Palestinian Girl Sought Martyrdom on Her Last Day of School

Imagine being a young girl living under a brutal occupation. You’re in the eighth grade. You work hard at your lessons, but then on your last day of school before summer break you go out and seek martyrdom by stabbing an occupation soldier.

Earlier this month I put up a post about Nouf Infiaat, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot by Israeli forces after stabbing, and lightly wounding, an Israeli soldier. This happened on June 1 at a checkpoint at the entrance to an Israeli settlement known as Mevo Dotan–located in the northern West Bank not far from the Palestinian village of Yabad, where Nouf lived.

Nouf was shot several times in the midsection and taken to a hospital, where she died the following day. What is perhaps most memorable about it all is that a video surfaced, one filmed shortly after the shooting, which showed the young girl writhing in pain on the ground as Israeli settlers gathered around her calling her a “bitch” and telling her to die.

A Palestinian girl was shot by Israeli soldiers. And while she was bleeding, settlers insulted her and told her to die.

Since posting that article, I’ve come across a few items of interest I thought I would pass along. According to a report here, June 1 was the last day of school in Yabad before recessing for summer break. Just a short while before showing up at Mevo Dotan with a knife, Nouf had received her certificate for passing the eighth grade.

“She told me she was going to pick up her school certificate and I was waiting for her return. But she was planning to get another type of certificate: martyrdom,” says Nouf’s mother, who is quoted in the story.

I’m guessing that Nouf, though she was only 16, knew fully well that carrying out a stabbing attack at a checkpoint manned by heavily armed soldiers would almost certainly result in her death. I would also guess that this is not something she decided to do suddenly on the spur of the moment. Most likely she thought about it for a long time. So why did she decide to carry out the attack on the last day of school? We can only surmise that for some reason completing the eighth grade before laying down her life was important to her.

Nouf died on June 2. Two days later, on June 4, the city of New York held a “Celebrate Israel” parade that was attended by thousands. The parade is an annual event in New York (which kind of makes me glad I don’t live there):

You’ll notice that one of the “dignitaries” marching in the procession was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I put up a post about Cuomo last year after he signed an executive order terminating all state contracts with businesses or organizations supporting a boycott of Israel. In that post I noted the hypocrisy of the governor, who, while taking a slash and burn approach to the BDS movement, was at the time lending support to a boycott of North Carolina over that state’s law prohibiting transgender bathrooms. In other words, don’t boycott Israel, but heck, go ahead and boycott a US state if you want to. That’s okay.

On June 5–one day after the parade and three days after Nouf’s death from gunshot wounds–the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset marked the 50th anniversary of the “reunification” of Jerusalem by holding a “joint session” that was broadcast simultaneously to both legislative bodies.

 photo jointsession_zpsv4ld9pyn.jpg

“After thousands of years in exile, the Jewish people are finally back home,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Home in the land of their ancestors. Home in the land that so many have died to defend. And home in their city of Jerusalem, the eternal capital never to be divided again.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuri Edelstein also spoke, both calling for the continued Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, both claiming that only Israel can guarantee free access to the city’s holy sites, while, hypocritically, in their remarks, wholly ignoring the fact that most Palestinians are denied entry to Jerusalem without Israeli-issued permits and thus making a mockery of the claim of free access.

On the same day, June 5, three days after Nouf’s death, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution saying that “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”

What kind of people would hold a parade to “celebrate” a country  like Israel? What kind of people view themselves as righteous victims of eternal persecution while laying entitlement to what some have referred to as a 3000-year-old land claim? How is it that this oh-so-very-esteemed and lionized country could create the conditions that would drive a 16-year-old girl to seek martyrdom on the day of her her graduation from eighth grade while leaders of the Western world do nothing but applaud, celebrate, and give their blessings? What does it say about the world we live in?

Funeral Held for 16-Year-Old Palestinian Girl Killed By Israeli Forces

A funeral was held today in Ramallah for Fatima Hjeiji, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was sprayed with approximately 20 bullets on May 7 after allegedly attempting to stab Israeli policemen.

[ Ed. note – What is becoming increasingly clear is that so enslaved to AIPAC are US Congress members, they will go on supporting Israel no matter how many Palestinian youths are shot down by Israeli forces. Described as a poet as well as a gifted math student, Fatima Hjeiji, 16, was shot multiple times by Israeli police on the evening of Sunday, May 7. The Israelis allege she attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. Her funeral was held today.

Hjeiji reportedly was the seventh Palestinian child to be killed this year, yet if the number were 70, or even 700, it would make no difference. Congress members like Tammy Duckworth in the Senate, or Ed Royce in the House, would most likely go on expressing their undying devotion to the Jewish state.

You can go here to see the top congressional beneficiaries of contributions from pro-Israel PACs. Duckworth’s and Royce’s names are at the top of the list. Yet even without campaign contributions rolling in, support for Israel in Congress likely would continue, for the plain simple truth is that every single member of that body is acutely aware of one thing: they either support Israel or they can expect massive amounts of money to be funneled to their opponents the next time they come up for reelection. Additionally, they can also probably expect attacks and smears in the media or even investigations or prosecutions on hypothetical trumped up corruption charges. When you’re dealing with an entity as powerful in America as the pro-Israel lobby, such things as these, and even more, would not be out of the question. If you’re a member of Congress and you want to keep your job, you support Israel. Period.

All this means Israel can attack Gaza anytime it likes, or murder children in the West Bank as its soldiers feel the urge, and US aid will continue to flow in. No trigger-happy Israeli soldier will be arrested unless the incident happens to be caught on video, and the only thing then will be a show trial and an acquittal. And of course it goes without mentioning–no war crimes tribunal will be soon be convening in The Hague either, and for the same reasons, while Duckworth and Royce will merrily go on extolling Israel’s “right to defend itself.” The horrible reality is that the bodies of these children will continue to pile up as the governments of the world look away.

According to the article below from Ma’an News, hundreds of people marched in Fatima’s funeral procession today. The report also includes the information that last year, 2016, was the deadliest year in a decade for Palestinian children, with a total of 32 being killed. Of that number, 24 were accused of carrying out attacks.

The second article, from Mondoweiss, provides quotes from Fatima’s family members, including her mother, and also mentions that the Israeli rights group B’Tselem has condemned the shooting, the group commenting that Fatima approached police at the site but that she had “stopped several meters away.” Furthermore, the officers were “standing behind a metal barrier, were armed and wearing protective gear” at the time, and the shooting was totally unwarranted, for the girl posed no threat to them. according to the report.

One other thing about Fatima you will discover. She was, in the words of her grandfather, a young girl with “a very strong personality–very strong. She was a strong patriot and she was always talking about freedom for Palestine.” Fighting for the freedom of her country from occupation, in other words. This is what Fatima was all about, along with, apparently, numerous others like her. Only in the circumstance of a lobby as powerful as AIPAC could such children, in any country in the world, ever be branded as “terrorists.” ]

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Hundreds March in Funeral of 16-Year-Old Palestinian Girl Killed By Israeli Forces

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinians from the village of Qarawat Bani Zeid, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, marched in the funeral procession for 16-year-old Fatima Hjeiji, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces earlier in the month under disputed circumstances.

Hjeiji’s body was transferred from Israeli authorities on Tuesday evening to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Jerusalem’s Abu Dis University, where the body was autopsied.

Following the autopsy, the teen’s body was transferred to the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah, where her body was prepared for burial and wrapped in a Palestinian flag, in accordance with Hjeiji’s wishes, which she outlined in a goodbye letter that she left behind for her family.

The funeral set off from the medical complex, where Hjeiji’s body was carried in an ambulance, and eventually offloaded onto the shoulder of mourners, who carried her body towards a hunger-strike solidarity tent in Ramallah’s Yasser Arafat Square.Hundreds marched in the procession, through Ramallah city’s streets, shouting slogans that against Israeli forces, Israeli settler, and the ongoing security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Mourners then carried on to Hjeiji’s home in Qarawat Bani Zeid village for final farewells, and then to the village’s mosque for funeral prayer before laying the teen to rest in the village’s cemetery.Dalia Hjeiji, Fatima’s mother, told Ma’an that her daughter’s “wish to become a martyr was answered by God,” while the girl’s father, Afef Hajiji, highlighted that his daughter was shot 21 times, “confirming that Israeli forces deliberately execute Palestinian children.”

Continued here

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Family of 16-Year-Old Palestinian Girl Remembers Bright Young Math Student, Poet, and Politically Charged Youth

By Sheren Khalel

Qarawat Bani Zeid, occupied West Bank — The day Fatima Hjeiji, 16, was shot dead by Israeli forces was the fifth day of her hunger strike in solidarity with an estimated 1,600 Palestinian prisoners on strike, her family told Mondoweiss.

The 16-year-old, a poet, activist and stellar math student, approached a group of five Israeli forces in Jerusalem on Sunday allegedly carrying a kitchen knife with the intention of attacking the fully armed border police officers.

The officers, apparently seeing the situation as a threat to life, lifted their guns and shot the teenage girl between 10 to 20 times. Witness at the scene reported that as the girl lay motionless on the ground Israeli forces continued shooting.

The 16-year-old girl “approached Israeli police and border guards stationed at the site, drew a knife, and tried to attack them while calling out ‘Allah Akbar’ in an attempt to hurt Israeli forces, who determinedly and professionally neutralized her,” a police spokesperson told Ma’an News Agency.

After investigating the incident, Israeli rights group B’Tselem on Wednesday condemned the killing, stating that Fatima “who stopped several meters away” from officers, “did not pose a danger” to police.

“The police – who were standing behind a metal barrier, were armed and wearing protective gear – could have subdued Hjeiji and taken her into custody without resorting to gunfire, certainly not lethal gunfire,” the group said in a statement. “Instead, they shot and killed a 16-year-old girl who, as stated, posed no danger to them.”

The incident was not the first time Fatima had been accused of attempting a knifing on Israeli forces. She was detained at the Zaatari checkpoint in Nablus almost exactly one year previously after Israeli forces found a knife in her possession, her family explained. Fatima was held in Israeli detention for ten days, during which Fatima’s mother, Dareen Hjeiji, said she was physically and psychologically tortured.

“After the torture she experienced in prison she became even more political, and became very concerned with prisoners rights,” her mother told Mondoweiss, sitting in a small room of a relative’s family home, surrounded by other mourning relatives.

Bloodshot eyes filled the room, as women, fighting back tears, took turns sharing small bits of information about the slain teenager.

Continued here

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