DEFAMATION IS REPEATED WHEN IT’S FORGOTTEN

Cave of the Patriarchs in Occupied Palestine

Source on Mosque Murders Can’t Recall People Ever Being Murdered in a Mosque Before

Read HERE what the Director of the ADL had to say on national T.V.

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Related article from Mondoweiss

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Greenblatt failed to remember 1994’s rightwing Zionist attack on the Ibrahimi mosque, at the Cave of the Patriarchs, when Baruch Goldstein, a messianic Jewish settler who had moved to occupied territories from Brooklyn, killed 29 Muslims while they prayed.

Here is an account of that massacre from our archives ….

FLASHBACK ~~THE HEBRON MASSACRE ~~ 20 YEARS LATER

20 Years of Lessons after Al-Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre – A Memorial History for the 30 Palestinian Martyrs

The story:

The dawn of Friday 15 Ramadan 1414 a.h. / 25 February 1994 marked the first of three massacres perpetrated by Israeli settlers accompanied by the Israeli Army. There were more than 30 martyrs and 270 injured. The main massacre took place while the victims were performing al- Fajr (Dawn) Prayer at Al Ibrahimi mosque.

At 05:00 on February 25, around eight hundred Palestinian Muslims passed through the east gate of Al-Ibrahimi mosque to participate in al-Fajr prayer, the first of the five daily Islamic prayers. At that time of the holy month of Ramadan, there were many people who flocked the Ibrahimi Mosque to perform their prayers. The mosque was under Israeli Army guard.


That same day, a Jewish American Zionist physician decided to materialize the dream of the typical Zionist movement of annihilating the Arab existence in Palestine. Dr. Baruch Goldstein prepared for the move. It was during Ramadan when Dr. Goldstein decided to execute his old plan of vengeance.

Goldstein passed two army checkpoints at the dawn of February 25, 1994 from the northeastern gate of the mosque near privy. That privy could be the reason why Goldstein decided on that gate because he, probably, received his contemplation about Arabs from the Rabbis of Kach in Kiryat Arab where the Arabs were described as the demons of the privy. The privy of the mosque is important not only because it has two Israeli army checkpoints on its nearby mosque’s gate, but also because it is surrounded by Israeli army posts from the east and army patrols in the west. So Goldstein was acting from the deepest parts of the Zionistic ideology in liquidating the demons.

 

Goldstein was carrying his IMI Galil assault rifle, four magazines of ammunition, which held 35 bullets each and hand grenades. He thought about the best moment to execute the plan, maximize the number of casualties and secure the escape or rescue. The best moment, of course, was when the Muslim worshipers knelt on the floor with their backs towards Goldstein.

It was first a hand grenade that he threw among the worshipers causing casualties, confusion, and possibly an invitation to the Israeli soldiers in the halls and outside of the mosque to intervene for rescue. And in no time, the automatic massacre took place with the same kind of mercy that other Zionists like Goldstein shows all the time toward Arabs.

Standing in front of the only exit from the mosque and positioned to the rear of the Muslim worshipers, he opened fire with the weapon, killing 29 people and injuring more than 125. He was eventually overwhelmed by survivors, who beat him to death.

An eyewitness said that when Goldstein was executing the massacre and people attacked him, there was a soldier who attempted to come closer to the scene. But instead of “rescuing” Dr. Goldstein, the Israeli soldier shot his bullets in the air and then escaped from the inside eastern door of the northern hall to the previously known “women praying area.” In the opinion of the eyewitness, the soldier could have rescued Goldstein by killing 5 or 10 more Palestinians, but it appeared that his personal safety was above any blood value.

Al Ibrahimi massacre (a.k.a Hebron massacre) is not the last one. Muslims and Jews are and will remain candidates for victimization. But the cause will always be the same: “The Nazi style laws of the Zionists occupation in Palestine.”

Reports after the massacre were inevitably highly confused. In particular, there was uncertainty about whether Goldstein had acted alone; it was reported that eyewitnesses had seen “another man, dressed as a soldier, handing him ammunition.” The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that the attack was the work of up to 12 men, including Israeli troops. However, Israeli Army denied that and confirmed that Goldstein had acted alone without the assistance or connivance of the Israeli guards posted at the mosque.

News of the massacre immediately led to riots in Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) and the rest of the occupied territories. Additional Palestinian Muslims were crushed to death in the panic to flee the mosque and in rioting that followed.

Now that was history, a bloody history that marked Feb 25 of every year with memorials of the Palestinian Martyrs massacred that day for nothing but being Palestinians. So, what are the lessons learned from this?

First we will look at the ideology behind this massacre (and all the Zionist massacres), then how it is treated among Zionists. And last but not least, how does the media look at Zionist (terrorists) and how do they handle such massacres compared to other terrorist acts and massacres.

Prof. Israel Shahak wrote – The Ideology Behind Hebron Massacre:

The sympathy which Baruch Goldstein enjoys among the Gush Emunim, whose influence is more pervasive than that of the Kahanists, can only be explained by a shared ideology. However, Gush Emunim leaders enjoy Rabin’s friendship and strong influence in wide circles of the Israeli and diaspora Jewish communities. Therefore it is their version of this ideology which is more important. Gush Emunim’s thinking assumes the imminence of the coming of the Messiah, when the Jews, aided by God, will triumph over the Gentiles. Consequently, all current political developments call be interpreted by those in the know as destined either to bring this end nearer or postpone it. Jewish sins, the worst of them being lack of faith in Gush Emunim ideology, can postpone but not alter the predestined course of Redemption. The two world wars, the Holocaust and other calamitous events of modern history serve as stock examples of such a curative punishment for Jewish sins. Such explanations can go into a lot of specific detail. The rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior (who attended Goldstein’s funeral and praised him), blamed Israel’s relative failure in its 1982 invasion of Lebanon on the lack of faith manifested through signing a peace treaty with Egypt and “returning the inheritance of our ancestors [i.e Sinai] to strangers”.[…]

The fundamental tenet of Gush Emunim’s thinking is the assumption that the Jewish people are “peculiar”. Lustick discusses this tenet in terms of their denial of the classical Zionist claim that only by undergoing “a process of normalisation”, by emigrating to Palestine and forming a Jewish state there, can the Jews become like any other nation. But for them this “is the original delusion of the secular Zionists”, because they measured that “normality” by applying non-Jewish standards. According to Gush Emunim, “Jews are not and cannot be a normal people”, because “their eternal uniqueness” is “the result of the covenant God made with them at Mount Sinai”. Therefore, according to Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of their leaders, “while God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of ‘justice and righteousness’, such laws do not apply to Jews”.

Harkabi quotes Rabbi Israel Ariel, who says that “a Jew who kills a non-Jew is exempt from human judgement, and has not violated the prohibition of murder”. The Gush Emunim rabbis have indeed reiterated that Jews who kill Arabs should be free from all punishment. Harkabi also quotes Rabbi Aviner, Rabbi Zvi Yehudah Kook and Rabbi Ariel, all three of whom say Arabs living in Palestine are thieves because since the land was once Jewish, all property to be found on that land “really” belongs to the Jews. In the original Hebrew version of his book Harkabi expresses his shock at finding this out. “I never imagined that Israelis would so interpret the concept of the historical right.”

Gush Emunim’s plans for governing non-Jews in Israel are also based on “theological” principles. According to Rabbi Aviner; “Is there a difference between punishing an Arab child and an Arab adult for disturbance of our peace? Punishments can be inflicted on Jewish boys below the age of 13 and Jewish girls below the age of 12…But this rule applies to Jews alone, not to Gentiles. Thus any Gentile, no matter how little, should be punished for any crime he commits.” From this dictum, it is only a short step to slaughtering Arab children.

Even Israel’s Supreme Court compared Kahane to the German Nazis. The prominent Orthodox dissident, Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, said that the mass murder in Hebron was a consequence of “Judeo-Nazism”. But Gush Emunim’s ideology is no less like that of the Nazis than Kahane’s.

Celebrating the Hebron massacre:

Why do we hate them?

When you see the Israelis and Zionists from different parties and sections of the Israeli society, including their army, as well from around the world, gathering annually at the grave of Baruch Goldstein to celebrate the anniversary of his massacre of Muslim worshipers in Al-Khalil (Hebron), how can you but “LOVE” them?

Here is a sample of the news stories from BBC –Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre (21 March, 2000):

Militant Jews have gathered at the grave of Baruch Goldstein to celebrate the sixth anniversary of his massacre of Muslim worshippers in Hebron.

The celebrants dressed up as the gunman, wearing army uniforms, doctor’s coats and fake beards.

Goldstein, an immigrant from New York City, had been a physician in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Waving semi-automatic weapons in the air, the celebrants danced, sang and read prayers around his grave.

“We decided to make a big party on the day he was murdered by Arabs,” said Baruch Marzel, one of about 40 celebrants.

The tribute was a macabre twist on the Jewish festival of Purim, when it is a custom to dress in costume and celebrate.

Massacre in mosque

In 1994 on Purim, Goldstein stormed a mosque and fired on praying Muslims in the West Bank city’s Tomb of the Patriarchs – a shrine sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Twenty-nine people died in the attack, and the angry crowd lynched Goldstein in retaliation.

Israeli extremists continue to pay homage at his grave in the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, where a marble plaque reads: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.”

About 10,000 people had visited the grave since the massacre, Mr Marzel said.

Note: the above news story is ten years old.

Not only that. The Israeli government allocated a special site for the grave, in the Tourist Park in Kiryat Arba settlement. Over the years, the grave has become a site of pilgrimage. Tens of thousand people from all over the world go to pray and honor this terrorist memory. The local religious council of Kiryat Arba settlement declared the grave site a cemetery. During the Feast of Purim, Goldstein friends celebrate the feast near his grave to honor him, in appreciation of what he did!

Last but not least, on the biased media side, Leon T. Hadar wrote:

Following the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the arrest of several Muslims who were charged with the crime, the American media were flooded with news stories, analyses and commentaries that warned of the coming “Islamic threat.” “Investigative reporters” and “terrorism experts” alleged on television talk shows and op-ed pages that the accused perpetrators of the bombing were part of an “Islamic terrorism network” coordinated by Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, or other Middle Eastern bogeymen.
[…]
Contrast those reactions with the media’s response to the massacre in Hebron. No analyst suggested that the event reflected the emergence of a global “Jewish threat. ” No terrorism expert was invited to discuss on “Nightline” or the “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” the rise of a “global Zionist terrorism” organization manipulated, say, by the Israeli Mossad. No scholar alleged that the massacre by a Jewish settler suggested that Western and Jewish values were somehow incompatible.

If one really had wanted to apply the journalistic methods that were used in the case of the World Trade Center bombing, it would not have been so difficult, after reviewing the biography of Rabbi Meir Kahane by Robert I. Friedman, to point to the strong ties between Baruch Goldstein and the other “fanatics” in the Jewish settlements and members of the Israeli political establishment, especially in the Likud party. One could even have reminded American readers that Kiryat Arba, where Goldstein resided, was actually the brainchild of a pre-1977 Labor government.

Any analysis of public statements and writings by some of the major political and spiritual leaders of the Jewish settlers, including the rabbis who head the movement, would reveal a fanatical hatred and racist attitudes toward non-Jews in general, and Arabs and Palestinians in particular.

Instead, most journalists and analysts adopted the official Israeli line and described the massacre as an “isolated” case of Jewish “extremism,” an act of a “lone gunman,” a “lunatic,” a “madman” who does not represent Israeli society or, for that matter, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. Journalists, like the Israeli government, stressed that killing of innocent civilians violates the moral tenets of Judaism.

IMAGES OF THE DAY ~~ THE MANIFESTATION OF HATE

“Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Unfortunately we see that phrase come to life on a daily basis. 
Today we mourn with the Muslim Community of New Zealand.

Image by Latuff

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Kiwis have been posting this today. 

 

EVEN DEAD PALESTINIAN CHILDREN SUFFER UNDER THE OCCUPATION

No family, anywhere, should have to endure these horrors …

Sixteen year-old Samah Mubarak is laid to rest in Ramallah. Mubarak’s body was returned to her family on Friday after being held by the Israeli forces for over a month

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ MURDER INCORPORATED

The UN report noted that 154 out of 183 people killed by Israel last year were entirely unarmed. 33 were children…


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The Report in full (Click on ‘Report’)

ANOTHER VIDEO ISRAEL DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE

UN report found that hundreds of Palestinians were intentionally killed by Israeli forces

Link to report can be found below

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Click HERE to see the report in full

FASCISM IS UNHEALTHY FOR ‘QUEERS’ AND OTHER HUMAN BEINGS

Considered Spain’s most celebrated poet. He was executed at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War for his sexuality, socialist views and support for the elected Popular Front government.

TOONS OF THE DAY UNINTENTIONAL MURDER

Images by Carlos Latuff

Related Post …. (Click on link)

Israeli army says the killing of Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar was ‘just an accident’

 

zion contradicts themselves by adding the following (Click on link)

After saying it shot medic by accident, IDF claims she was ‘no angel’

Army releases video purportedly showing Razan al-Najjar hurling smoke bomb, saying she wants to be a human shield

FIRST THEY SHOT A DOCTOR IN HIS LEGS, THEN THEY MURDERED A YOUNG PARAMEDIC

AND SOME OF US DID NOT REMAIN SILENT!

First read this report (Click on link)

Canadian doctor shot by Israeli sniper near Gaza border

Now this ……

She was about 100 meters away from the boundary fence with Israel at the moment she was shot and was wearing clothing clearly identifying her as a medic, the human rights group Al Mezan stated, citing eyewitnesses.

Al-Najjar had become known for her bravery and insistence on carrying out her medical rescue work despite the obvious danger.

Full report here, including Tweets (Click on link)

Gaza medic killed by Israel was shot in the back

Carlos Latuff adds the following ….

Targeting civilians and medical personnel in conflict areas is a war crime! Razan al-Najjar, 21 years old, volunteer nurse, was assassinated by an Israel sniper while attending wounded protesters in Gaza. Investigation is urged by the International Criminal Court!

 

UNBELIEVABLE FOOTAGE OF A COLD BLOODED MURDER IN ISRAEL

SHARE SO THIS CAN GO VIRAL ….

An Israeli police man strangles a Palestinian Child to death on Saturday during the protest of US embassy move to the Jerusalem. The innocent boy even read Kalima e shahadat before dying. Despite many attempts by groups to upload this video to the Youtube, its been consistently removed and deleted from google, Facebook and youtube. pls make this video viral so that it reaches all the media.

(Click, ‘Watch on FaceBook)

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If Israel gets its way, videos like the above will soon be banned

As if we had not already had enough of this slaughter of Palestinians, Israel is now considering a ban on filming/photographing its soldiers committing such barbaric acts.

Image by Latuff

CAN (WILL) CANADA BE ABLE TO SAVE GAZA?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday called for an independent probe of the violence along the Israel-Gaza border after a Canadian doctor was among those injured in the clashes.

At least some seem to care …..

Image by Latuff

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NAMES AND FACES OF THIS WEEK’S MARTYRS

Gaza killings: Names and faces of those killed by Israeli forces this week

Eight-month-old Laila is youngest Palestinian killed in Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day since 2014 war

From left: Ahmed Alrantisi, Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, Ahmed Altetr, Alaa Alkhatib Ezz el-din Alsamaak, Motassem Abu Louley (screengrab)

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From left: Fadi Abu Salah, Motaz Al-Nunu, Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh

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From left: Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah (screengrab)

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From left: Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, Obaidah Salim Farhan (screengrab)

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From left: Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk (screengrab)

List of names and ages …

1. Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, 8 months old

2. Ezz el-din Musa Mohamed Alsamaak, 14 years old

3. Wisaal Fadl Ezzat Alsheikh Khalil, 15 years old

4. Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, 16 years old

5. Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, 16 years old

6. Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, 18 years old

7. Eman Ali Sadiq Alsheikh, 19 years old

8. Zayid Mohamed Hasan Omar, 19 years old

9. Motassem Fawzy Abu Louley, 20 years old

10. Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh, 21 years old

11. Mohamed Abd Alsalam Harz, 21 years old

12. Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, 22 years old

13. Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, 22 years old

14. Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, 23 years old

15. Mahmoud Mustafa Ahmed Assaf, 23 years old

16. Ahmed Fayez Harb Shahadah, 23 years old

17. Ahmed Awad Allah, 24 years old

18. Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, 25 years old

19. Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, 26 years old

20. Bilal Ahmed Abu Diqah, 26 years old

21. Ahmed Majed Qaasim Ata Allah, 27 years old

22. Mahmoud Rabah Abu Maamar, 28 years old

23.Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, 28 years old

24. Ahmed Fawzy Altetr, 28 years old

25. Mohamed Abdelrahman Meqdad, 28 years old

26. Obaidah Salim Farhan, 30 years old

27. Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, 30 years old

28. Fadi Hassan Abu Salah, 30 years old

29. Motaz Bassam Kamil Al-Nunu, 31 years old

30. Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, 31 years old

31. Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, 31 years old

32. Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, 32 years old

33. Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, 35 years old

34. Mohammed Mahmoud Abdulmoti Abdal’al, 39 years old

35. Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Hamdan, 27 years old

36. Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk, 30 years old

37. Ahmed Mahmoud Mohammed Alrantisi, 27 years old

38. Alaa Alnoor Ahmed Alkhatib, 28 years old

39. Mahmoud Yahya Abdawahab Hussain, 24 years old

40. Ahmed Abdullah Aladini, 30 years old

41. Saadi Said Fahmi Abu Salah, 16 years old

42. Ahmed Zahir Hamid Alshawa, 24 years old

43. Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, 33 years old

44. Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, 34 years old

45. Mokhtar Kaamil Salim Abu Khamash, 23 years old

46. Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, 21 years old

47. Abdulrahman Sami Abu Mattar, 18 years old

48. Ahmed Salim Alyaan Aljarf, 26 years old

49. Mahmoud Sulayman Ibrahim Aql, 32 years old

50. Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah, 25 years old

51. Kamil Jihad Kamil Mihna, 19 years old

52. Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, 23 years old

53. Ali Mohamed Ahmed Khafajah, 21 years old

54. Abdelsalam Yousef Abdelwahab, 39 years old

55. Mohamed Samir Duwedar, 27 years old

56. Talal Adel Ibrahim Mattar, 16 years old

57. Omar Jomaa Abu Ful, 30 years old

58. Nasser Ahmed Mahmoud Ghrab, 51 years old

59 – 61: Unidentified

Never to forget …. never to forgive!

IN TOONS ~~ A HISTORY OF ISRAELI GENOCIDE

Israel …. Then and Now

Images by Carlos Latuff

The Catastrophe is NOT over!

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The catastrophe then and now!

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Gaza Massacre

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Another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force. A violation of international standards, committing what appear to be willful killings constituting war crimes.

 

Today is the 70th anniversary of Yawm an-Nakba or Nakba Day. On this day Palestinians mark the anniversary of the Nakba (“Catastrophe”) when they were violently forced from their land and homes as Israel was created in 1948.

More than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians were violently driven from their land and homes. As thousands of their fellow country people were slaughtered around them, they fled in terror to neighboring countries and to the West Bank and Gaza. To this day, Israel refuses to allow them to return to the land they were forced from – despite international law giving them that right to return.

But the Nakba didn’t end in 1948. It has continued for 70 years, as Israel continues to steal and occupy Palestinian land and oppress the indigenous Palestinian population.

Stay Human!

WATCH LIVE ~~ WORSE DAY EVER IN GAZA

Over 41 Palestinians have been murdered just today as protests against the U.S. Embassy relocation to Jerusalem as the March of Return continues in the lead up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba tomorrow.

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What should have been a day of joy …

Mother’s Day in Palestine by the talented Palestinian artist Mary Hazboun

DYING FOR THE TRUTH IN GAZA …..

Yaser Murtaja was shot and killed while filming the second Great Return March which he was documenting with colleagues at عين ميديا Ain Media. This documentary was in progress before he was killed. He dedicated his life to telling the stories of Palestinians in Gaza. What a huge loss for the world.

Death is not the only thing on Israel’s ‘Final Solution’ …

A picture that you only can see in besieged Gaza/Palestine! Many young Palestinians had their lower limps amputated as a result of sever injuries by Israeli gunfire or shelling. 
They challenge their disability with determination and steadfastness.

WE AR NOT NUMBERS ….

See up close the impact of Israeli snipers who target unarmed participants in the Great Return March. This 12-year-old boy lost his leg and his dreams of being a football star.

Carlos Latuff adds the following …

Israel celebrates 70 years of its foundation in Gaza

AS DISGUSTING AS IT GETS ~~~ CAUGHT ON VIDEO

Israel Confirms Video of Sniper Shooting Unarmed Palestinian, as Soldiers Cheer, Is Genuine

(YET THEY ALLOW IT TO CONTINUE)

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Latuff’s comment ….


Killing nonviolent Palestinian protesters turns into a PR debate for Israel

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See the following related post (Click on link)

Israeli sniper films shooting of unarmed Palestinian through rifle scope– and celebrates

DETAILED REPORT OF MURDER IN GAZA … ‘FIRST THEY TOOK HIS LEGS, THEN HIS LIFE’

The truth behind the murder of Ibrahim Abu Thoraya

 The Israeli military first took his legs, then his life

ARMED TO KILL WITH ‘NON-LETHAL’ WEAPONS

While Palestinian protesters are generally armed with rocks and a few sporadic Molotov cocktails, Israeli forces are armed with some of the world’s leading crowd control weapons.

Live bullets larger than .22 caliber are the only ammunitions used during clashes that are considered lethal by Israeli standards, but the classifications of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge rounds and .22 caliber live bullets as non-lethal, is, according to medical professionals, misleading.

Palestinians try to avoid tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes which erupted after the funeral of Palestinian Mustafa Tamimi in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. Tamimi, 28, was hurling rocks at an Israeli military vehicle on Friday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh when a soldier inside opened the rear door and fired a tear gas canister at him from just a few yards away, witnesses said. He was taken to an Israeli hospital, where he died of his injuries on Saturday. Photo by Issam Rimawi

Sponge rounds, rubber bullets, and tear gas — how Israel’s non-lethal munitions can kill

It was the middle of a cold October night in 2015 when an Israeli army jeep came driving through Aida refugee camp blaring a message through its loudspeaker.

“People of Aida refugee camp, we are the occupation forces,” the message began in Arabic. “If you throw stones, we will hit you with gas until you all die. The children, the youth, the old people – you will all die. We won’t leave any of you alive … Go home or we will gas you until you die. Your families, your children, everyone – we will kill you.”

The Israeli government condemned the message as the act of a single soldier, but Palestinians in Aida, knowing the lethal potential of tear gas, took the threat seriously.

The next day an eight-month-old baby was killed by tear gas inhalation during clashes in a neighboring village.

While Palestinian protesters are generally armed with rocks and a few sporadic Molotov cocktails, Israeli forces are armed with some of the world’s leading crowd control weapons.

Live bullets larger than .22 caliber are the only ammunitions used during clashes that are considered lethal by Israeli standards, but the classifications of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge rounds and .22 caliber live bullets as non-lethal, is, according to medical professionals, misleading.

Mondoweiss spoke with Doctor Nasser al-Jaberi, the Director of the Emergency Room Department at the West Bank’s Arab Society Hospital, to get a better idea of what these weapons are capable of.

“[They] can absolutely kill,” al-Jaberi said. “Rocks are no real threat against an armed military. When you ask if a rock could injure or kill a soldier wearing a helmet, a bullet proof vest, and army-grade clothing, it is hard to imagine, but a protester dying of tear gas inhalation is very common.”

al-Jaberi told Mondoweiss that in certain circumstances nearly every non-lethal weapon used by Israel can, and at some point has, killed.

We asked al-Jaberi to break it down for us, munition-by-munition.

Sponge rounds

Sponge rounds, also called sponge grenades or sponge-tipped bullets, are used often by Israeli forces when clashes are happening near Israeli Jewish communities, or when the wind is too strong for tear gas to work well.

At clashes it is easy to tell when Israeli forces are using the rounds.

Youth in the streets are more careful about coming out in the open. They hide behind concrete blocks on the side of the road. In the middle of street wooden boards and other barriers are perched up on light poles and metal dumpsters are pushed out into the road, with youth popping up from behind them just long enough to pop off a rock from their slingshots.

The barriers just get in the way if there is a lot of tear gas being fired and are not sufficient to stop live bullets.

Sponge rounds are designed to be shot over a long distance (the required distance changes depending on the precise version of the ammunition), and only at the lower extremities. When used from a proper distance the harmless-looking rounds cause massive black and blue bruises — when shot at a close distance they can easily stop a heart or crack a skull.

Two types of sponge rounds are used by Israeli forces. The blue-tipped rounds are made up of an aluminum base, plastic base and dense sponge. They can cause serious damage on their own, but in 2015 a new black-tipped sponge round was introduced. The black-tipped rounds are heavier, with more dangerous tips created from synthetic rubber.

“If shot at a very close distance, either sponge round can cause fractures to the skull, which could lead to death,” al-Jaberi said. “They can also be deadly if shot at the chest, eye or neck in some cases. They are certainly less deadly than rubber-coated bullets or tear gas, but that does not mean they cannot cause death or serious injury.”

Sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abdelmajid Sunukrut was shot in the head from around 30 feet away with a sponge round in August 2014. After struggling for a week in the hospital Sunukrut succumbed to his wounds. In July 2016, 10-year-old Muhyee al-Din Tabakhi was hit in the chest with a sponge round, causing internal bleeding that led to the child’s death.

Still, the rounds are considered non-lethal.

Rubber-coated steel bullets

Rubber-coated steel bullets are another form of what is, according to al-Jaberi, wrongly considered a non-lethal method of crowd control used by Israeli forces during clashes.

In Arabic sponge rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets go by the same name: “matahta.” While the word and the defense against them (makeshift barriers in the streets) are the same, youth take rubber-coated steel bullets much more seriously when being used in the field by Israeli forces.

“A rubber-coated bullet is actually just a metallic bullet covered in a small layer of plastic or rubber, so it is still a bullet,” al-Jaberi said. “We have seen many skull fractures here at the ER from these so-called rubber bullets, and a skull fracture can cause internal bleeding, as well as contusions to the brain. If it is from a close distance in the head, eye, neck or chest these ammunitions have every likelihood of being deadly.”

Al-Jaberi explained that while a real bullet is more likely to make a clean entry and exit, the nature of a rubber-bullet means the entry point is much more likely to be torn open jaggedly, and if shot at a close distance, the bullet more likely to embed itself into the body.

These days Mohammed al-Azza, an award-winning Palestinian photojournalist from the occupied West Bank, never ventures to cover clashes without a bulletproof vest and helmet. In 2013 doctors told the young journalist he could have died if the rubber-coated steel bullet shot at his face while covering clashes had hit him just a centimeter closer to his eye.

He was shot from the second floor balcony, by soldiers positioned on the street just in front of him — much too close to be within protocol of any use of the munition.

The bullet fractured his upper cheek bone. It had to be surgically removed and the journalist has had to undergo multiple other surgeries to reconstruct his face and eye socket. Today there is only a small scar left on his upper cheekbone, but a quarter of his facial skeleton is made up of metal and plastic.

A myriad of other cases documented by rights groups illustrate just how dangerous the ammunition can be, including the 2016 incident in which 12-year-old Mohiyeh al-Tabakhi was shot and killed by Israeli forces after a rubber-coated steel bullet hit the child in the chest, causing him to go into cardiac arrest and die.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented dozens of other Palestinians killed by rubber-coated steel bullets. According to B’Tselem, the Israeli State Attorney’s Office has stated these deaths are “unavoidable mistakes.”

Countless others, like 10-year-old Yahiya al-Amudi, have been shot in the eyes by the ammunition, leaving them partially blinded.

.22 Caliber Bullets

There is no question that a .22 caliber bullet, also known as a tu-tu bullet, is considered live fire — it is — but Israeli forces still consider the ammunition a “non-lethal” crowd control method.

The small bullets are less powerful than larger cartridges, but they carry a deadly punch, just like any other bullet, particularly when the .22 calibers are hollow-tip bullets, also known as expanding, dum-dum, exploding or fragmented bullets.

According to al-Jaberi, the majority of the bullet wounds he treats are from these types of expanding bullets — the use of which is considered a war crime under international law.

“Most of the bullet wounds we treat here contain fragmented bullets. When they enter the skin they explode into many fragments. If this reaches the bones we call it comminuted fractures,” he said, explaining that these kind of fractures mean the bone was hit at high velocity and fractured into more than two pieces. “We have had some of these cases where the bullet fragments sliced arteries and that is a very serious injury that could definitely kill in certain circumstances.”

In 1981 John Hinckley Jr. shot then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan with a .22 caliber loaded with expanding bullets. While Reagan spent two weeks in the hospital recovering, the former president’s White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and suffered permanent brain damage that left him partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Israeli authorities deny the use of expanding bullets in their arsenal.

After the first year of the Second Palestinian Intifada, the head of the security department in the Operations Directorate of the Israeli military announced that the .22 bullet was too deadly to use as a form of crowd control and discontinued its use between the years of 2001 and 2008, according to B’Tselem.

The .22’s were eventually brought back into use, and by 2015 B’Tselem found that there was “a steady erosion in the restrictions on firing… leading to ever greater use of this weapon,” which it said was “misleadingly portrayed as a non-lethal measure.”

“The indisputable facts are that we are dealing with a lethal weapon, which the Israeli authorities falsely present as a reasonable tool to employ in dealing with demonstrations,” the report added.

In the first ten months of 2015, four Palestinians were shot and killed by .22 calibers, including 13-year-old Abdelrahman Obeidallah, who was shot with a .22 caliber bullet straight to the heart right after school let out.

Israeli forces said the shooter had not breached protocol in using the .22 as a non-lethal munition at the time of the 13-year-old’s death. According to Israeli officials, the soldier was shooting for the legs of another youth, when the bullet ricocheted up and hit Abdelrahman, showing that even when used according to Israel’s protocol, the bullets can be deadly.

Tear gas

More than 1,000 Palestinians were injured during the two weeks of daily clashes that followed the al-Aqsa mosque crisis last month, according to the Red Crescent. Most of those injuries were caused by severe tear gas inhalation.

Tear gas is actually not a gas at all, it is a powder mixed with a liquid substance that when released as an arsenal, resembles gaseous clouds. It also affects much more than just the eyes and tear ducts. Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs. Touching your face, eyes, or trying to use water to wash it off only intensifies the symptoms.

The fact that it is a solid means the “gas” eventually settles on surfaces around the area it was administered. In the occupied West Bank, some areas are tear gassed nearly daily, meaning surfaces like balconies and window ledges, for instance can become caked in the substance. If someone unknowingly touches a railing, then wipes their face or other sensitive areas of the skin, the concentrated powder causes chemical burns.

“I have had many patients come in with serious respiratory distress from tear gas,” al-Jaberi said. “In particular circumstances tear gas can easily kill someone — for example if someone has a pre-existing condition, or if the patient is a small child, a very old person, and even in some cases, healthy people.”

Earlier this year 18-month-old Abdelrahman Barghouti died from asphyxiation after tear gas was shot by Israeli forces into the child’s family home.

Al-Jaberi’s most recent serious patient suffering from tear gas exposure had to be hospitalized for a week before being released because of respiratory damage triggered by the gas.

Even among healthy individuals, concentrated exposure to tear gas causes sharp pain in the chest and the sensation of suffocation.

Palestinian doctors, medics and nurses, as well as the general populace, know very well how to deal with the immediate effects of tear gas exposure, but al-Jaberi is concerned with the unknown effects it could trigger over time.

“I can’t give any specific evidence on the long term effects of the gas until there are serious research studies done about it,” he said. “Unfortunately there have not been many studies on the case, but we should be monitoring the people who are exposed to this gas on a daily basis, like those who live in the refugee camps, because I think it is logical to say that these people would have a much higher likelihood of having serious respiratory problems when compared to people not frequently exposed to the gas. We can feel certain there are side effects, but without studies it is hard to say for sure.”

Tear gas canisters

In addition to the gas itself, the canisters used to administer tear gas are shot at high velocity and can do serious damage if the canister hits vulnerable parts of the body.

“I’ve had many patients injured from the canisters. One of my patients was hit in the head with a gas canister at short range and it caused a fracture to the skull and damage to the bone around the eye,” al-Jaberi said.

The cases of tear gas killing, both from the gas itself and direct contact from the canisters, is well documented.

While Israeli military regulations prohibit firing tear gas directly at people, B’Tselem has extensively documented cases of the practice.

In March 2009 U.S. citizen Tristan Anderson was shot in the head with a tear gas canister and to this day suffers from severe brain damage. A month later, Bassem Abu-Rahmah, from the village of Bil’in, was hit in the chest by a tear gas canister and killed. Bassem’s death was made famous after his killing was featured in the Oscar-nominated film Five Broken Cameras.

The death of Bassem, a beloved and well-known Palestinian activist, was covered by media internationally, but it did not help to mitigate Israel’s use of tear gas against Palestinian protesters.

Two years after Bassem was killed, his sister died due to respiratory failure caused by tear gas inhalation. Eleven months after that Mustafa Tamimi was killed after being hit with a tear gas canister during clashes in Nabi Saleh.

Israeli forces closed both Abu-Rahmah’s and Tamimi’s case files without indictment. B’Tselem condemned the decision, stating that it gave “Israeli soldiers and officers the unequivocal message that, should they kill unarmed civilians, they will not be held accountable.”

“Given this state of affairs, it is hardly surprising that soldiers and Border Police officers continue to shoot tear-gas canisters directly at Palestinians, endangering their lives. Under such circumstances, it is only a matter of time before yet another unarmed Palestinian civilian is killed in this way,” the group said in a 2013 report.

Four years later, injuries and deaths caused by direct contact with tear gas canisters are still common occurrences.

More photos at the SOURCE

REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN ANGEL, RACHEL CORRIE

March 16th marked the anniversary of the Israeli killing of Rachel Corrie in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, 14 years ago.

14 years ago today, Israeli bulldozers killed ISM activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza

On March 16, 2003, Rachel was killed by an Israel Occupation Force (IOF) armored bulldozer in Rafah during the second Palestinian intifada.

Rachel had come to Gaza to try and establish a sister city project between her hometown Olympia, Washington and Rafah, Gaza. She was a peace activist connected to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who tried to prevent the demolition of Palestinian houses which were being carried out by the Israeli army.

After a three hour long confrontation between ISM activists and the Israeli army’s demolition forces, she was killed, less than two months after arriving in Gaza.

Israel claims that the driver of the bulldozer could not see Rachel because of the limited field of view from within the bulldozer. Humans rights groups claim that the driver had seen her and deliberately continued driving, disregarding her fellow activists who were shouting and waving their arms, which resulted in Rachel’s death.

The Israeli army’s investigation of the incident concluded that the death was an accident because the driver of the bulldozer had limited visibility and therefore couldn’t see Rachel. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations criticized the military investigation, claiming that it was not transparent, credible or thorough enough.

In 2006 Bradley Burston, Haaretz columnist said “We should have saved Rachel Corrie’s life that day… Right now, somewhere in the West Bank, there’s an eight-year-old whose life could be saved next week, if we’ve managed to learn the lesson are resourceful enough to know how to apply it.”

In 2005 a one-woman drama called ”My Name Is Rachel Corrie” ran at London’s Royal Court Theater, and received a warm reception. In April 2015, the drama was staged Off Broadway in the East Village in New York.

Two years ago a symbolic gravestone with her name was installed in Tehran cemetary in Iran, alongside twelve other symbolic gravestones.

There is a street named after Rachel Corrie in Ramallah, West Bank.

 

Source

 

Italian activist Nicola Arboscelli stands in front of graffiti memorializing American peace activist Rachel Corrie who was killed 14 years ago today, on March 16, 2003, Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Abid Katib/ Getty Images)

 

ISRAELI JUDICIAL SYSTEM ~~ JOKE OR JUSTICE?

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter.

Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron.

Image by Latuff

Elor Azaria verdict, or, how Israel court system whitewash war crimes

Elor Azaria verdict, or, how Israel court system whitewash war crimes

Palestinian who filmed shooting says Azaria sentence ‘is a joke, not justice’

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter.

Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron.

Following the court’s sentencing, Azaria’s defense vowed to appeal the ruling, while several high-ranking Israeli politicians called for a pardon in his case.

The main evidence in the case was footage caught on camera by Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian resident of Hebron who had been provided a camera by Human Rights Defenders specifically to document instances such as the shooting and other human rights violations in Hebron.

Abu Shamsiya told Mondoweiss he is grateful he was around to film the incident, because without the camera footage he feels certain Azaria would never have been taken to court, let alone serve time in prison.

“If there was no one filming that day then this crime, just like other crimes like it that happen against Palestinians on a daily basis, would go unnoticed,” Abu Shamsiya said. “I am so grateful for the camera, and so grateful I was in the right place at the right time.”

While Shamsiya is happy the world got to see what happened on that day in March, he does not feel like justice was served.

“There is no justice for the family,” Abu Shamsiya said. “They lost a member of their family in a very brutal way, this 18-month sentence is not justice for the family, for the Palestinian people or our nation — no one got justice from this.”

Sahar Francis, the director of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO, criticized the sentencing, telling Mondoweiss that an 18-month sentence for an “extrajudicial execution” of a Palestinian “brings to light the policy of impunity and lack of accountability in a system of protracted Israeli military occupation.”

“The period of sentencing is similar to sentencing routinely given to Palestinians for ‘membership in an illegal organization’ – with all Palestinian political parties deemed illegal through various military orders,” Francis said. “The message this sends to other soldiers and police officers who extrajudicially execute Palestinians is that their actions will not be seriously accounted for and that impunity will persist.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli right has lauded Azaria as a hero who killed a Palestinian terrorist, attacking the Israeli military and the Israeli justice system for allowing the case to go forward, while calling for Azaria’s pardon.According to Israeli daily Haaretz, judges said Azaria acted with the intent to kill, outside of Israeli military protocol, which requires a threat to life before live fire can be used. The judge also said the severity of the shooting and backlash it caused to the Israeli military was mitigated since the shooting happened during an active combat situation.

After Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter January, Ido Zelkovitz, head of the Middle East studies department at Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel and senior researcher at the University of Haifa told Mondoweiss that both sides of the Israeli political spectrum agreed on one thing — Azaria shot a terrorists in their eyes — which in the end, he said would indeed lead to a pardon after Azaria serves a small part of his sentence.

“Even if he was unarmed and he couldn’t put anyone in danger, the common idea among all the Israeli camps is that Azaria shot a terrorist and there is no debate about that question — it is a mutual understanding. That is why in the future the pardon will be accepted,” Zelkovitz said.

Abu Shamsiya agreed, telling Mondoweiss that he would be shocked if Azaria was actually made to serve his full sentence.

“Of course he won’t be made to serve his full sentence — the sentence is a joke, not justice, it’s 18 months in prison for murder,” Abu Shamsiya said. “Not only do I doubt he will even serve a full prison sentence, I doubt he will be put on any kind of probation or be demoted in the military.”

“This case shows us the injustice of the Israeli government,” he added. “This was just a show for the world to see because this execution was filmed, so the government felt it had to do something.”

IF THE CANCER DOESN’T KILL YOU ZIONISM WILL

A Palestinian man was on his way to a chemotherapy session when he was shot by Israeli soldiers last November, his family told an Israeli journalist this week.

Muhammad Amer Jallad (via Quds)

Muhammad Amer Jallad (via Quds)

Palestinian was on way to chemotherapy when shot by soldiers

Muhammad Amar Jallad was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family told Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy. Jallad was reported to have died in an Israeli hospital where he was being treated for his injuries last week.

The Israeli army claimed that Jallad was attempting to attack soldiers with a screwdriver when he was shot in the northern West Bank village of Huwwara on 9 November.

A witness told the Ma’an News Agency that he saw Jallad “attempting to cross the road in Huwwara before being shot at by an Israeli soldier who then took out a knife and threw it next to the youth.”

Shot while running across road

Jallad’s father told Haaretz that his son had set out from their home in Tulkarem that morning for the nearby city of Nablus, where he was being treated at the An-Najah National University Hospital.

When Jallad realized he had mistakenly boarded a shared taxi heading to Ramallah, rather than Nablus, Levy reported, “The driver suggested that he get off at Huwwara junction, next to the checkpoint of that name, where he would be able to pick up the taxi to Nablus.”

Jallad exited the vehicle and began to cross the road.

“He did so on the run,” according to Levy. “On the other side was an [Israeli army] jeep and a few soldiers, who were guarding the busy junction. The soldiers apparently thought that he was out to attack them.”

Jallad was shot with one bullet to the stomach as he reached the middle of the road, Haaretz recounted. A Palestinian ambulance crew happened to drive by and attempted to evacuate Jallad, but Israeli forces prevented them from doing so.

He was eventually evacuated in an Israeli ambulance and taken to a hospital.

During the months of hospitalization before his death, Jallad was put under the custody of an Israeli military court. His family were kept in the dark about his condition and were prevented from seeing him.

Jallad’s father was denied a permit to enter Israel and though his mother was issued a permit on four occasions, only once was she allowed to enter her son’s hospital room.

The family looked up one of his doctors online and called him last Friday. It was only then that Jallad’s family learned that he had died, they told Haaretz. They still have not been informed of the date and cause of his death.

Israel transferred Jallad’s body to his family on 17 February. The Ma’an News Agency reported that his body will be examined in the presence of Palestinian legal officials before being buried on Saturday.

Israel has withheld the remains of dozens of Palestinians slain during alleged and actual attacks since late 2015.

Earlier this month, Israel transferred the body of Muhammad Zeidan, a 16-year-old who was shot and killed by a private security guard at a Jerusalem-area checkpoint in late November.

Medical neglect of child prisoner

The health of a Palestinian child with leukemia who is being held in an Israeli military detention center has “seriously deteriorated,” a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority committee on prisoners’ affairs stated this week.

Ahmad al-Khadour, 15, has “suffered from a stroke, feet problems, intense dizziness, and muscle contractions in his fingers,” Luay Ukka told media.

The boy has been detained since 2 January, when he was assaulted by Israeli forces who beat him with the butts of their rifles, Ukka said.

The Jerusalem Committee for the Families of Prisoners also reported that the Israel Prison Service had transferred Azmi al-Daqaq, 28, to a hospital after his health deteriorated.

Al-Daqaq is being held without charge or trial under military detention order after he was detained on 20 January “over an alleged stabbing attempt,” the Ma’an News Agency reported.

Palestinians have frequently accused Israel of medical neglect of prisoners. Last September, a prisoner died from a heart condition after reportedly receiving inadequate treatment in prison.

In December, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies released a report claiming that 32 Palestinian prisoners are not receiving adequate medical care for their different conditions.

Some 6,500 Palestinians were imprisoned by Israel as of January.

Teen posed no danger when killed

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem stated this month that a Palestinian teenager who was shot by Israeli forces last December posed no danger to soldiers when he was killed.

Ahmad al-Kharroubi, 19, was slain in the Jerusalem-area town of Kufr Aqab when soldiers raided in the middle of the night to seal the home of a Palestinian killed during a shooting attack.

Ahmad al-Kharroubi (via B’Tselem)

Ahmad al-Kharroubi (via B’Tselem)

Al-Kharroubi was hiding behind a low wall and “apparently attempted to throw stones at Border Police officers and soldiers” at a roadblock some 80 to 100 meters away from him when he was hit with a live bullet, according to B’Tselem.

Al-Kharroubi, who was shot in the neck, was evacuated to a hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

B’Tselem stated that “no incendiary device” was thrown at soldiers from the area where al-Kharroubi was positioned. Given the distance the unarmed youths were from the soldiers, “they could not pose any danger,” the group added.

B’Tselem also stated that the punitive sealing of the home was an illegal act of collective punishment that “that led to the pointless death of this young man.”

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