Sick in the head: ‘That will teach them’: israeli soldiers gloat & cheer as they shoot Palestinian protesters

‘That will teach them’: Israeli soldiers gloat & cheer as they shoot Palestinian protesters

RT

Disturbing footage from the West Bank published by an Israeli human rights group shows IDF soldiers discussing how to improve land shots on unarmed Palestinian protesters and cheering as they hit them with rubber bullets.

The video shows three Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers standing on a road that leads to a Palestinian settlement and firing at a group of Palestinians, who gathered meters away. The soldiers are also seen routinely discussing the best ways to fire at people

“It is far, still too far. Wait for them to come nearer,” one soldier is heard telling the other when preparing to fire a shot. They also discourage each other from shooting from a longer distance, as it would apparently scare the protesters off.

“We need one good hit and that is it. That will teach them not to throw stones,” one soldier says at some point. The same soldier is heard saying in the video that the stones, which were apparently being thrown by the Palestinians, did not even reach the soldiers’ position. The men are also shown to be reacting with excitement after one of them apparently hits a protester with a rubber bullet.

Disturbingly, one of the soldiers then remarks: “One live bullet and the whole thing will be over,” to which the other one replies that they “do not need live fire.” The former then complains that one cannot effectively shoot a person with a rubber bullet.

According to the description of the video, which was published on YouTube by the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem), the incident took place in the Palestinian village of Madama, located to the south-east of the city of Nablus, in the West Bank on April 13.

The Israeli military placed a roadblock at the eastern entrance to the village. When the Palestinians attempted to remove the roadblock in a protest move, a total of 11 Israeli soldiers arrived. At some point, the Palestinians started hurling stones at the soldiers. It is, however, unclear if the soldiers started firing in response to the protesters’ actions or before the Palestinians began throwing stones.

A total of seven Palestinians were injured in the incident. Two of them were taken to a hospital in Nablus for medical treatment, while others were treated on the spot.

The video was published just days after a retired Israeli general defended the IDF practice of opening live fire on unarmed protesters in Gaza in a controversial interview. Zvika Fogel, the former chief of staff of IDF’s Southern Command, which controls the 65 kilometer (40 mile) border with Gaza, said that anyone who gets close to the border fence between Israel and Gaza automatically poses a potential security threat, and could thus be considered a legitimate target, even if it is a child.

Fogel also dismissed any criticism by calling the lives of the Palestinians, who, during the protests, were allegedly killed by accident, an unfortunate “price that we have to pay to preserve the safety and quality of life of the residents of the State of Israel.”

Earlier, a 15-year-old Gaza boy, Mohammed Ayoub, was killed by the IDF during protests in Gaza. A local cameraman, who captured the shot, Abdul Hakim Abu Riyash, told RT that the teenager was nowhere near the fence and was not carrying any sort of weapon.

Israel’s controversial practices have long provoked criticism from international organizations and human rights groups. In early April, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Israel to ensure that security forces do not use excessive force against Palestinian protesters. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International slammed what they called “calculated” killings and the use of deadly force against unarmed protesters, including children.

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Jewish Mentality: israeli Lawmaker: Palestinian Teen Tamimi ‘Should Have Gotten a Bullet, at Least in the Knee’

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Ahed Tamimi, 17, is serving an eight-month prison sentence after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier

Ahed Tamimi in military court, February 13, 2018.Ahed Tamimi in military court, February 13, 2018.Meged Gozani

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager famed for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera, should have been shot, at least in the knee, Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) wrote on Twitter Saturday.

“In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap,” he wrote. “That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”

He was responding to journalist Yinon Magal, who had reposted the footage of Tamimi slapping the soldier along with the text, “I’m watching this clip again and am so glad that Tamimi is still in jail. Sometimes, it’s good that the mills of justice grind slowly.”

Tamimi, 17, was arrested and charged soon after the incident took place last December. In March, she was convicted in a plea bargain of assaulting a soldier, incitement and interfering with a soldier in the line of duty. She was sentenced to eight months in prison plus a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,400).

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) responded angrily to Smotrich’s tweet. “You should be ashamed of yourself! Should the hilltop youth from Samaria who threw stones at IDF soldiers last week also have been shot?” she wrote on Twitter, referring to violent settlers in the northern West Bank. “Oh, I forgot – the law is different for enemies …”

“I don’t accept your excuses and explanations,” she added. “You’re a thug and an inciter.”

Tamimi’s mother Nariman and cousin Nur were also convicted in slapping incident. Nariman Tamimi, who shot the video, was sentenced to eight months in prison and a 6,000-shekel fine for incitement, abetting an assault and interfering with a soldier in the line of duty. Nur, who also slapped the soldier, was given a five-month suspended sentence and fined 2,000 shekels.

In the original indictment, Ahed Tamimi was also charged with several other offenses, including throwing stones on various occasions.

As israel becomes a political liability it is time to challenge its enablers

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by Nada Elia

New York Senator Chuck Schumer. (Photo: Sarah E)

The Great Return March has already made a difference.  As thirty thousand non-violent marchers are all indiscriminately viewed as “legitimate targets” for asserting their inalienable human rights, the image of Israel as a liberal democracy, an image already severely tarnished by its brazen embrace of apartheid over the past few years, is now receiving additional blows that will be hard to recover from.  US politicians are finally noticing, and expressing criticism of the country that was once untouchable. As Philip Weiss notes:  “As protests at the Gaza border get underway this morning, several liberal Democratic politicians have finally objected to Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence.” Weiss goes on to point out that the criticism of Israel is nevertheless tempered by the call on Palestinians  “to exercise their rights nonviolently,” and describes Senator Elizabeth Warren’s criticism as “tepid.”

My own take about US politicians’ response to these attacks is quite different.  Up to the latest attacks, on the weekly Great Return Marches by Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, American politicians have come out in droves to assert that offensive formula, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”  It is offensive because Israel is not defending itself, it is defending an illegal occupation, which violates the human rights of a civilian people it is obligated, according to international law, to be protecting. It is also offensive because we have never, not once, heard an equivalent “Palestinians have the right to defend themselves,” even when they are the ones coming under attack.

Much more revealing than the few comments by congresspeople who criticized Israel,  Mark Pocan (WI), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Keith Ellison (MN), Barbara Lee (CA), and Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA), is that, this time around, not a single Democrat has actually come out to shield Israel.  Not one has stated that “Israel is our friend and strongest ally,” not one has spoken of “joint values.”  As Jonathan Ofir noted, Israel’s genocidal comments are isolating it.

From the Balfour Declaration to today’s Great Return March, the past hundred years of Palestinian history have been one painful trajectory of racist settler-colonial injustice imposed upon the indigenous people, followed by uprisings, which in turn are violently suppressed, until the people can take no more, and rise up again, demanding justice.  The revolts, the 1936-39 uprising against Mandate Britain, (sometimes known as “the first intifada”) and more recently, the 1987 and 2000 intifadas, have taken on many forms, from armed insurrection to completely peaceful protests. They have invariably been met with extreme violence on the part of the oppressor, whether England, which first imposed martial law and crafted many of the measures Israel still employs in its discrimination against the Palestinians, to the full blown massacres Israel now routinely engages in, as it finally strips off the mask of “democracy:” to declare that every Palestinian refugee is a legitimate target.

This is the turning point we have been looking for, when Israel is finally viewed by its hitherto enablers as a liability, not an asset.  At a time when the US is deeply divided between white supremacy and the impulse to resist fascism, the toxic collision between Trump and Netanyahu, and on the popular level between white nationalism and Zionism, is forcing US politicians to distance themselves from an Israel that is ever more open about its true nature as a racist, genocidal state.  Now, then, is the time to break the Zionist hold on our “representatives,” and make it very clear to them that they do not have our support while they profess “joint values” with Israel.

And this is already happening, as outraged citizens are indeed confronting our politicians. It started a couple of years ago,  at town halls across the nation.  We must increase the pressure.  We could ask Bernie Sanders, for example, who rehashed the cliché of “disproportionate response,” as he explained that Israel “over reacted” to the marches, what, exactly, he would view as  an appropriate “response” to unarmed civilians asserting their inalienable human rights. Should Israel have killed five, instead of seventeen protesters? Maybe only three? Would killing three unarmed protesters be “proportionate?”

If we don’t seize the moment of outrage, now, as Israel shows its bare face of criminality, we might as well abandon the struggle.  But if we want change, rather than a scream of pain, we must direct our activism towards those who enable the oppressor. It is past time we stopped discussing such irrelevant matters as whether Palestinian resistance is fully non-violent.  It is resistance, by a dispossessed, disenfranchised, oppressed people, against a nuclear power that does not recognize the humanity of the Palestinians whose most basic rights it has been violating for seventy years.

And it was certainly never appropriate to worry about how Israel will be impacted by the Right of Return. Worrying about the impact of the Right of Return on Israel is like university administrators who prioritize the impact of a rape conviction on the rapist. “Oh but it would destroy his career as an athlete!” The Right of Return is non-negotiable. A country that violates it is the criminal party. Palestinians returning to the town and villages they fled during Al Nakba will change the demographics in Israel, but it would be justice at long last.  Those demographics, allowing Israel to claim it is a “Jewish democracy,” are themselves the result of violence, and can only be maintained through violence.  Besides, qualifying “democracy” voids that very term. Would we ever accept, rather than ridicule and criticize, a country that claims to be a “male democracy,” or a “Muslim democracy?”  And Ahed Tamimi’s slapping of the Israeli occupation soldier is no more “violent” than a woman scratching her rapist. We have prioritized the oppressor for way too long.

In a little under a month, Palestinians will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of Al Nakba.  We can be part of the solution, by confronting Israel’s enablers here in the US.  Or we can let our outrage join history’s heap pile of missed opportunities. And forget about the ideals of freedom, self-determination, justice.  They can be buried in the rubble in Gaza.

Let us do our part.

MASS CASUALTIES PUTTING HEALTH WORKERS IN GAZA UNDER EVEN GREATER STRAIN

Gaza/PNN/

Amid further mass casualties on the third consecutive Friday of the “Great Return March” protests, health workers were put under yet further considerable strain and a number of them were injured.

Today, a Palestine Red Crescent Society medic in Rafah was shot in the knee with live ammunition, and a further 10 paramedics had to evacuate their medical point near Khan Younis after inhaling tear gas.

Even before Israel’s violent response the protests, health workers in Gaza were under huge strain due to the cumulative effects of a decade of blockade, which has degraded health and other essential services as well as the economy and living conditions, in addition to previous mass casualty events. Burnout and emotional exhaustion was already a significant feature among Palestine’s medical workforce. Now, they are once again experiencing the most difficult conditions, working long hours in tense situations and assisting casualties with often horrifying and life-changing injuries.

Last Friday, the World Health Organisation reported that five ambulances were damaged in attacks, three paramedics were injured by direct fire to the lower limbs, one by a tear gas cartridge to the head and that 29 healthcare staff suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Attacks on Palestinian health workers, facilities and ambulances by Israeli forces have been a painfully regular and repeated feature of the past decade, as MAP has emphasised in its publications and advocacy.

“Regretfully, no one has been held to account for any of the multiple attacks on protected medical personnel and facilities, and this impunity makes recurrence much more likely,” added Aimee Shalan.

“The prolonged and often traumatic stressors endured by health workers in Gaza are almost inconceivable for people not trapped there. On an almost daily level, they see and suffer what many of us won’t in a lifetime,” said Aimee Shalan, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Today, at least 969 injuries have been reported by the Ministry of Health. More than 1,200 were reported to have been shot in the last fortnight. At least 26 protesters are reported to have been killed.

A medic treating severely injured protesters in a hospital in Gaza told MAP that the types and numbers of injuries “would overwhelm any European hospital and be classified as a “major incident”, let alone a local hospital in Gaza with a shortage of disposables and man power for this kind of injury. This is happening every Friday.”

With the sheer number of casualties threatening to overwhelm available services, communities in Gaza are stepping up to support them. In Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, for example, MAP has learned of groups of students of healthcare subjects banding together to form “rescue teams” to offer treatment and support the work of professional responders.

Those inside hospitals and clinics are working long hours to keep essential services running alongside caring for thousands of new patients. The physical health of unarmed protesters is clearly under threat in Gaza, but so too is the mental wellbeing of those who are once again bravely striving to save lives and limbs.

As we celebrate the steadfastness and resolve of Gaza’s medics, we are also outraged that their safety is once again endangered as they carry out their vital humanitarian functions.

MAP repeats its call on the UK government and the international community to support the demand of UN Secretary General for there to be independent investigations into the violence at the Gaza perimeter protests.

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Universalising the Holocaust

April 12, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

dublin.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Israel is upset!  Ynet reports today that Dublin Mayor Mícheál Éamonn Mac Donncha addressed a Palestinian Authority international conference in Ramallah on Wednesday, despite the Israeli Interior Minister instructing authorities to stop him from entering the country.

Mac Donncha boasted at the conference that his city’s council adopted a resolution calling for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Ireland. Such a move didn’t make Mac Donncha popular in the Jewish State.

The symposium titled ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine’ focuses on Jerusalem’s significance in the eyes of Palestinians in the light of American president Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Jerusalem is of paramount importance in the world. I think an attempt by any one state or religion to exclusively reign supreme over Jerusalem is wrong. The American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is therefore very wrong,” Mac Donncha said expressing a universal ethical position.

Palestinians are not used to seeing Western politicians taking their side. Such an ethical move never goes unpunished as Jeremy Corbyn and thousands of his party’s members can tell.

Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai questioned yesterday whether “the honourable Mícheál Mac Donncha chose the event and its timing intentionally or not.” Today Israel marks the Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Perhaps tomorrow’s siren will remind him that (Mufti) Amin al-Husseini met with the mass murderer Adolf Hitler, and then he’ll try to come up with things to tell his city’s Jewish community.” I want to believe that Maj.-Gen. Mordechai doesn’t expect Dublin’s mayor to compromise on basic ethics just to appease Dublin’s Jews. Needless to mention that it may also be possible that some of the 1500 Jews who live in Dublin may actually support the Mayor’s humanist approach.

Maybe Maj.-Gen. Mordechai should use the occasion and contemplate himself over the meaning of Holocaust day. He can, for instance, delve into the racist Israeli Law of Return. He can ask himself how is it possible that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the newly formed Jewish State ethnically cleansed Palestine of its indigenous population (The Nakba). Maj.-Gen. Mordechai should ask himself if it is a coincidence that on the week that commemorates the holocaust, IDF soldiers filmed themselves ‘having fun’ shooting Palestinian protestors as if they were sitting ducks.

https://youtu.be/EjTkJIPKj80

I do believe that time is ripe for the Jewish State to tell us what is the universal moral lesson it drew from the Holocaust.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

Video of Ahed #Tamimi’s interrogation shows intimidation, harassment

Video of Ahed Tamimi’s interrogation shows intimidation, harassment

Tamimi family makes footage public to show tactics used by Israeli authorities to elicit confession from the teenager

Ahed Tamimi stands for a hearing in the military court at Ofer military prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on 1 January 2018 (AFP)
Chloé Benoist's picture

The family of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who garnered international attention after being detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier, released on Monday footage of the 17-year-old girl being interrogated by Israeli officers in the days following the arrest.

Because she is a minor, Israeli authorities are required to hand over excerpts of footage of interrogations to Tamimi’s lawyer upon request. Her family later decided to make public excerpts of the video they had been provided.

Tamimi’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, filed a complaint with the Israeli general attorney last Monday in light of the footage showing an interrogator telling the teen she has “eyes like an angel”.

Lasky has accused the interrogators of sexual harassment amounting to a “gross violation of the law”, made worse in light of Tamimi’s age.

Video screenshot of Ahed Tamimi under interrogation by two Israeli officers in December (video)

“The video shows Ahed’s defiance and sense of confrontation through her voice, through her silence and by slapping their soldier,” Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, said at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. “This defiance is the message of our new generation. The single purpose of this interrogation was to break the symbolism of defiance that she represents by trying to have her let go of her right to remain silent. She did not.”

Bassem Tamimi said his daughter was interrogated every day during the first 10 days of her detention, with the exception of the day when she was taken to court, adding that interrogations lasted up to 12 consecutive hours.

He added that she was subjected to solitary confinement, sleep deprivation for up to 34 hours, and lengthy and difficult transfers between prison and the court in the “bosta” – the Arabic term for the vans carrying prisoners.

The footage seen by Middle East Eye shows Tamimi being interrogated on 26 December, a week after her arrest, at a police station in Shaar Binyamin, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Tamimi, then 16-year-old, is seen sitting on a chair in a winter coat, with one Israeli interrogator sitting behind a desk out of the camera’s range, while another, reportedly from the Aman military intelligence, sits next to her, at times scooting closer to her during the interrogation with his legs seemingly open – a stance commonly used by Israeli interrogators to intimidate women, according to several former female Palestinian prisoners who have spoken to MEE.

In breach of regulations regarding the detention of minors, Tamimi is interrogated without a lawyer or guardian present, nor is a female officer seen at any point in the room, despite their presence being mandated during the interrogation of women.

The interrogators try in turn intimidation, guilt, and bizarre attempts at establishing a rapport throughout the video, while Ahed keeps silent looking back and forth between the two men and occasionally burrowing her face into her collar, only speaking up to say: “I hold the right to remain silent.”

In one particularly jarring instance, the Aman interrogator leans towards Tamimi and shouts at her that she looks like his sister.

“My little sister is blonde and her eyes are like yours… When she goes to the beach, yeah? Like a hamburger,” he says loudly in broken Arabic, laughing. “For real, how are you in the sun? Like my sister? Red, red, red?”

The interrogators also try to induce guilt in Tamimi, telling her that she would be responsible for any harm that might befall residents of her village, Nabi Saleh, should she keep refusing to identify people in videos shown to her.

“We will take everyone if you don’t cooperate,” the Aman interrogator says, as Ahed shifts uneasily in her chair. “It’s in your hands. It’s in your hands.”

“I don’t want to have to bring those children here. Children. Please,” he adds. “You say something, maybe we don’t need to.”

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, speaks at a press conference on 9 April 2018 (MEE/Chloé Benoist)

Bassem Tamimi highlighted on Monday that the footage showed tactics used regularly by Israeli forces on Palestinian children, denouncing them as violating international humanitarian law.

“This all comes in the context of the occupation trying to target Palestinian childhood,” Tamimi said at the press conference, hailing Ahed’s commitment to staying silent as “confronting the interrogator without fear entering her heart”.

Ahed was 16 when she was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier who would not leave her family’s property in her hometown of Nabi Saleh, on the same day as Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

A video of the incident went viral on Israeli social media, showing her slapping, kicking and hitting two armed Israeli soldiers. Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was also detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for filming and sharing the aforementioned video.

Ahed’s trial gained international media coverage and human right groups, including Amnesty International, have campaigned for her to be released.

The international attention prompted the Israeli court to hold hearings on Tamimi’s case behind closed doors, ostensibly to uphold her right to privacy as a minor, despite the Palestinian teenager waiving her right, arguing that public proceedings would protect her from what she has publicly called an “illegitimate court”.

Several rights organisations have denounced the incarceration conditions for Palestinian children over the years – pointing to the systematic prosecution in front of military courts, with a nearly 100 percent conviction rate.

According to Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), three out of four minors are subjected to physical violence during arrest or interrogation. According to Prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, 356 Palestinian minors were detained by Israel as of March.

Reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Israeli rights groups B’Tselem and HaMoked have found that Israeli forces use unnecessary force while detaining children and “routinely” interrogate them without the presence of a parent or lawyer. Several minors reported being slapped, kicked, hit and blindfolded during their arrest or interrogation, or made to sign documents in Hebrew despite not speaking the language.

Gaza’s Great Return March: 9 Martyred, Including Journalist, 1000 Injured

Local Editor

07-04-2018 | 12:16

While the Palestinians were participating in the peaceful protests outside the occupied borders, “Israeli” occupation forces martyred at least 9 of them, including a journalist, and wounded more than 1,000 others.
 
Gaza

In further details, thousands participated in a mass demonstration demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

While the Palestinian Health Ministry reported on Friday that 293 people were injured by live ammunition after Israeli forces fired on protesters who had gathered near the Israeli border in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Elsewhere, hundreds of protesters suffered other injuries, including tear gas inhalation.Relatively, one of the martyrs was journalist Yasser Murtaja, a photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency who was hit during protests Friday.
Later, an AFP photograph taken after he was wounded showed Murtaja wearing a press vest as he received treatment.
Meanwhile, the “Israeli” army declined to comment, claiming it was reviewing the incident.

The deaths brought the number of Palestinians martyred during Friday’s confrontations to nine after thousands gathered along the border for the second week in a row.

Some Palestinians burned mounds of tires and threw stones at “Israeli” soldiers over the border fence.

In all, at least 491 Palestinians were injured by shooting, the health ministry said.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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