Palestinian Lives Don't Matter
by Stephen Lendman
Since last October, Israeli soldiers and police extrajudicially executed more than one Palestinian daily on average - the death toll around 210, thousands of others injured, countless numbers imprisoned, including women and children, hundreds administratively uncharged and untried.
On Thursday, two Hebron-based Palestinians were executed in cold blood, a soldier lethally shooting one victim in the head as he lay wounded, helpless on the ground.
A video gone viral online shows what happened - one of countless examples of ruthless rogue state policy, its security forces licensed to kill with impunity.
B'Tselem posted the shocking video, clear evidence of cold-blooded murder, saying "Palestinians Ramzi al-Qasrawi and 'Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif were shot after stabbing a soldier in Tel Rumeida, Hebron."
"The soldier sustained medium-level injuries." Other reports called them minor. "While al-Qasrawi died on the spot, a-Sharif was injured and fell to the ground."
"In video footage captured by Hebron resident 'Emad abu-Shamsiyah, who sent it to B'Tselem, he is seen lying on the road injured, with none of the soldiers or medics present giving him first aid or paying him any attention at all."
"At a certain point, a soldier is seen aiming his weapon at a-Sharif and shooting him in the head from close range, killing him. Although this occurs in the plain view of other soldiers and officers, they do not seem to take any notice."
A settler witnessing what happened was heard saying "this dog is still alive." The soldier involved said he "did the right thing," disgracefully claiming a helpless, apparently seriously wounded Palestinian victim "could blow himself up."
Eyewitnesses said soldiers opened fire indiscriminately, wounding several Palestinians in the line of fire, threatening no one.
Extrajudicial killings are universally prohibited. They're official policy in Israel, the lives of all Palestinians endangered, including women, young children, the elderly and infirm.
Middle East peace process special UN coordinator Nickolay Mladenov condemned a-Sharif's brutal murder, calling it "a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation."
"It is time to stop the negative spiral of violence and to begin positive steps towards ending the occupation and bringing long overdue peace and security to the people of Israel and Palestine."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's call for accountability for what happened rang hollow. Soldiers, police and radicalized settlers are almost never charged with criminal offenses committed against Palestinians - facilitating an endless cycle of violence and gratuitous killings.
Investigations when ordered are routinely whitewashed. Official "shoot-to-kill" policy denies Palestinians justice.
Palestinian MK Ayman Odeh calls Israel "a place where public executions are carried out with cheers (from onlookers), the price of security and moral deterioration…paid by both peoples."
Wounded Palestinians are left to bleed to death untreated, help often blocked from providing urgently needed medical care.
Odeh called for Netanyahu and other Israeli officials responsible for assassinating Palestinians along with the killer soldier to be brought to trial, prosecuted, and held fully accountable for their crimes.
In Israel, they're routinely committed, all in a day's work against defenseless Palestinians, brutalized by a ruthless occupier.
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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