by Stephen Lendman
It continues with disturbing regularity. Mass murder or one targeted Palestinian at a time.
Usually an innocent youth or child. In harm's way in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On October 24, Israeli soldiers murdered 14-year-old Orwa Hammad. American born. The second US child Israel killed in recent days.
Its killing machine is shows no mercy. Operating unrestrained. Mindless of rule of law principles.
Doing whatever it damn pleases. For any reason or none at all.
Hammad was part of a demonstration against against Israeli repression. Occupying Palestinian land around Silwad. Protecting a Jews-only road. Used eclusively by Ofra settlers.
On October 26, thousands in Silwad attended his funeral. Shops closed in his honor.
Posters displaying his image were everywhere. Pallbearers carried his body through Silwad streets on a stretcher.
His mother was visiting relatives in Jordan. She headed for Silwad straightaway.
Hammad's funeral was delayed until last Sunday. To give his father time to travel from America to attend. So did parents of other slain Palestinian youths.
The procession moved from a mosque to the funeral sight in Silwad's center. A somber service followed.
Anger erupted. Village residents burned tires. Chanting anti-Israeli slogans. In response, soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. Causing numerous injuries.
An Israeli IDF spokeswoman lied. Claiming soldiers fired at a "Palestinian adult" preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail.
Silwad's Mayor Abu Salah said an "Israeli soldier shot directly at the child" without just cause. Murdering him in cold blood.
Witnesses said an Israeli soldier killed Hammad at close range. Shotting to kill. An innocent youth posing no threat.
Local residents said Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers after Friday prayers. Hammad was killed hours later.
The Electronic Intifada published wrongfully imprisoned Holy Land Foundation charity founder Shukri Abu Baker's comments to family and friends, saying:
"On Friday, October 24, Israeli soldiers swarmed the northern West Bank village of Silwad to quell a protest by dozens of frustrated youngster."
"Upon arriving, the heavily armed soldiers opened fire at 14-year-old, Orwa Hammad, aiming at his head and neck."
"The boy fell to the ground and bled to death before the soldiers called an ambulance. Six others were wounded."
"In summer 1992, during a visit to my home village, Silwad, I met Nabil Qaddorah, 19, handsome, full of energy and optimism, and excited about his planned engagement to the love of his life."
"The Israeli soldiers raided the village with their military jeeps and started shooting at a crowd of youngsters who had started to throw stones at the military vehicles."
"Nabil received multiple wounds in his chest. As he fell to the ground, a soldier started to jump up and down pounding on his chest."
"They carried him inside a jeep and took off. After dark, two days later, his family claimed his body and brought him home for his elderly parents, relatives, and friends to view before he was put to grave in the same night."
"I viewed his body, kissed him on the forehead, and said goodbye.
Nabil’s sister is Orwa’s mother (Ikhlas Hammad)."
"In a span of 22 years, she has lost a brother and a son. Orwa’s father, Abdelwahab, is my wife's maternal cousin who was in New Orleans, Louisiana when his son was murdered."
"He asked that the burial of his son be put off for three days to allow him to make it back in Silwad and attend the burial. Orwa was an American citizen by birth."
"His family is expecting a statement from the State Department demanding answers from the Israelis, and I say, it won’t happen because we already know that it was the soldiers who shot Orwa, but where did the bullets that killed him come from?"
It bears repeating. America and Israel partner in each other's high crimes. Accountability is absent. It's nowhere in sight.
Palestinian youths and children are fair game. Murdering them in cold blood persists.
Attorney Brad Parker is Defense for Children International-Palestine's international advocacy officer. He commented, saying:
"Impunity is the norm for Israeli soldiers that commit violence against children as they consistently violate their own live-fire regulations and know that they will not be held accountable for their actions no matter what the result."
"There is no justice or accountability for child victims." No one knows from day to day who'll live or die. Remain free or be thrown in Israel's gulag.
In spring 2014, Palestinian Center for Human Rights Director Raji Sourani called 2013 "the worst year ever due to the Israeli crimes which went unpunished…"
"(T)he world's silence towards Israel's closure of any door to justice in the face of the Palestinian victims (includes) pressure exerted on countries which adopt universal jurisdiction…"
Israeli war criminals have immunity. Unrestricted freedom to brutalize Palestinians unaccountably.
Committing slow-motion genocide against besieged Gazans. Operation Protective Edge killed over 2,200.
Around 80% noncombatants. Wounding about 11,000 others. Many maimed for life. Unconscionable war crimes by any standard. Accountability is absent.
Incarcerating thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel's gulag. Cruel and unusual treatment is official Israeli policy. So is collective punishment. Mercy is verboten.
World leaders able to make a difference turn a blind eye. Doing so lets Israel get away with murder. Palestinian suffering continues. Conditions go from bad to worse.
A previous article discussed Amnesty International's report titled "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank."
Discussing crimes too grave to ignore. Palestinian children posing no threat are murdered in cold blood. Soldiers and responsible superiors remain unaccountable.
They're promoted. Decorated. Honored for committing high crimes. Dozens are killed. Some are shot in the back.
Thousands of Palestinians are wounded annually. Thousands more are lawlessly arrested and detained. Many get long prison terms.
Persecution, deaths and injuries are part of daily Palestinian life. World leaders able to make a difference do nothing to change things. Media scoundrels report virtually nothing.
Lawlessness continues unabated. Yusef a-Shawamreh was another Palestinian victim. Israeli soldiers shot him without just cause. He bled to death unattended.
Soldiers lied saying "they noticed three suspicious Palestinians who were vandalizing the separation fence, and opened fire at them according to the procedure for arresting a suspect."
"When the Palestinians refused to respond to the soldiers’ calls, the force opened fire, wounding one of the Palestinians."
No vandalism occurred. Shots were fired preemptively. Without warning. Yusef and two other Palestinian youths crossed through a breach in Israel's Separation Wall.
To pick gunelia. Edible thistle-lie flowering plants. Commonly found in semi-desert areas. Providing income for local residents.
Yusef's family owns farmland. Separated by Israel's barrier. Land where the three youths headed. Threatening no one.
Survivors said they heard three or four shots. Fired without warning. Yusef was hit. One of his friends helped him back to the road.
Soldiers emerged. Help arrived too late. Yusef was pronounced dead at Beersheba's Soroka Hospital.
One of many Palestinian victims. Blamed for Israeli crimes. Perpetrators go unpunished.
Yusef's friend al-Muntaser Beallah a-Dardun said Israeli police detained him and three other Palestinian youths days earlier. At the same location.
Beating them. Confiscating their plants. Lucky to avoid not being shot.
Murdering Palestinian youths posing no threat is longstanding Israeli practice. Arab lives are considered cheap.
Israeli security forces are trained to kill. Youths and children are prime targets. A previous article discussed Mutaz Hijazi.
He was blamed for killing extremist rabbi Yehuda Glick. With no corroborating evidence proving it. Guilt by accusation is official Israeli policy.
Police murdered Hijazi in cold blood. Autopsy results showed he was shot at least 20 times.
In the chest, neck, hands, legs, lungs and heart. With different type bullets. Able to deform and crush bones. Death by severe bleeding followed. Cold-blooded murder denied him due process.
Maan News said "(t)he latest killings come at the end of four months of almost continuous violence in Jerusalem, as Israeli authorities have launched massive arrest campaigns that critics say are politically-motivated while simultaneously imposing heavy religious restrictions on worshipers who seek to pray at Islam's third-holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed violence on Israel's longstanding occupation. "We regret all loss of life," he said.
"At the same time we reiterate that the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains the main source of violence and instability in the region."
"Palestinian citizens continue to be oppressed, imprisoned, injured and killed by the occupation forces, with impunity and the full backing of the Israeli government."
Unrest grips East Jerusalem. Other West Bank cities, towns and villages. Fueled by anger and hopelessness.
Long-suffering Palestinians deserve better than they get. Israel persecutes them with impunity.
Fundamental rights don't matter. Palestinians are prisoners on their own land. High Israeli crimes go unpunished. Justice remains denied.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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