Israel guns down medic and seeks to criminalize reporting on atrocities


The deadly violence in Gaza continues with snipers of the Israeli Defense Forces shooting at protestors. The latest outrage was the killing of a 21-year old volunteer medic Razan al-Najjar and the shooting of three other medics, even though she was wearing the white coat that identified her as a medic. Here is a photograph of al-Najjar and one in which she was treating an injured demonstrator.

You can see scenes from her funeral that thousands attended here. Israel has said that it would investigate the death of al-Najjar but you can be sure that they will find no wrongdoing because in their eyes, the IDF can do no wrong.

A report from B’Tselem (the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) describes how the Israeli snipers do not seem to care if they hit medical workers.

At around 4:30 P.M., I saw two young guys take a Palestinian flag from an older woman who was close to the coiled fence that was on the ground. They went up to that fence, which was about ten meters away from the perimeter fence. They put the flag on the barbed wire fence, and then I heard a few shots and saw one of them fall down. The other guy lay flat on the ground beside him. A few young men tried to reach them to give them first aid but the soldiers fired live rounds and teargas canisters around them.

I advanced toward the spot with the first-aid team. The soldiers fired live rounds near us to warn us not to approach. One of the women on the emergency team put up her hands to set the soldiers minds at ease and let them know we were a medical crew, and we kept advancing, but the shooting continued near us and over our heads. The soldiers also fired teargas canisters behind us. Despite this, we managed to get to the two guys. I found that the guy who was injured is a relative of mine, Muhammad Musbah. He had been hit by a live bullet in the right leg and was lying on his back. His leg was completely torn up below the knee and he was bleeding badly. I bandaged the wound with medical gauze and Wasim Musbah, who was with us, brought the stick the Palestinian flag had been tied to, broke it in two and tied it to the injured leg as a splint for support. The entire time we were caring for him, the soldiers kept firing above us. A few young guys moved forward till they reached us, and together we lifted Muhammad and got him away from the barbed wire fence and on to a tuk-tuk, because there was no ambulance there.

Israel knows that it is being increasingly condemned around the world and even in the US. The Israel lobby here has already moved to pass laws at the state and federal levels to punish people for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement because of fears that it is rapidly gaining support as a result of Israeli government actions. The government of Israel is also seeking fund the lobby groups to carry out its propaganda work using various front organizations and that is raising alarms because that would require the lobby groups to register as foreign agents.

Last fall, officials with a shadowy Israeli government agency started knocking on the doors of America’s leading Jewish institutions.

They came offering money with few strings attached. They wanted American Jewish institutions to help them fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement by running “missions” to Israel for influencers, something some of them were doing anyway.

Jewish institutions aren’t usually in the business of turning down grants. But then, one by one, at least four did.

The Jewish Federations of North America, perhaps the central institution of the organized Jewish community, said no. So did the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, another key establishment group.

The Jewish organizations rejected the offers, according to multiple Jewish communal officials who spoke with the Forward, because accepting the proposed deal would have required them to register as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. At least four organizations turned down offers from the same Israeli agency, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

The Israel parliament is also considering passing legislation that prohibits the photographing or filming of IDF soldiers.

Under the proposed legislation, entitled the “Prohibition against photographing and documenting IDF Soldiers”, those found photographing troops “with the intention of undermining the spirit” of the army can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

“Anyone who filmed, photographed, and/or recorded soldiers in the course of their duties, with the intention of undermining the spirit of IDF soldiers and residents of Israel, shall be liable to five years imprisonment,” says the bill, proposed by Robert Ilatov, a member of the Knesset and the chairman of the right-wing nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party.

As Glenn Greenwald says:

What do you do if you’re a country with a military that routinely and indiscriminately slaughters innocent people, including children, in support of illegal occupation? You make it a felony to film them or report on what they do

Israel will be aided in this by the US which as usual is providing diplomatic cover and protection for Israeli atrocities even though it is becoming increasingly isolated at the United Nations .

A bitter divide over who is to blame for scores of Palestinian deaths from Israeli fire at protests near Gaza’s border shifted Friday to the United Nations, where the United States vetoed a measure backed by Arab countries to protect Palestinians and condemn Israel.

Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, described the measure, a United Nations Security Council resolution drafted by Kuwait, as one-sided. She accused the measure’s authors of inexplicably absolving Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza and organized the protests.

The United States, a permanent Security Council member with veto power, was the sole no vote on the measure, which was enough to defeat it. Ten members voted in favor and four abstained.

A separate American resolution proposed by Ms. Haley, which would have condemned Hamas for the Gaza violence, failed to gain any support from fellow Council members.

Ms. Haley said the votes showed that the Security Council majority “was willing to blame Israel, but unwilling to blame Hamas, for violence in Gaza.”

“Further proof was not needed, but it is now completely clear that the U.N. is hopelessly biased against Israel,” she said in a statement.

While the votes were largely symbolic, they offered some insight into the challenges the United States is facing diplomatically over what critics call its unbridled support of Israel’s side in the protracted conflict with the Palestinians.

Kuwait’s draft resolution condemned the use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians” and demanded a halt to such actions. It made no mention of Hamas, which Israel, the United States and several other countries consider a terrorist organization.

In the vote for the American resolution, in which the United States was the sole yes vote, three members voted against it and 11 abstained.

As long as the US continues to give its unconditional support for Israel, it will continue to commit atrocities.

Comments

  1. busterggi says

    Well when you’re god’s chosen people and you have the support of a huge nation with nuclear weapons ruled by a maniac who supports you because his religious base does, even if it is so they can ultimately watch you die horribly…

  2. jrkrideau says

    I remember hearing an interview with a Canadian doctor who was shot on the Monday before Nakba. He said that it should have been obvious that he was not dangerous as he was wearing green hospital scrubs and tending to a victim when he was shot in the leg.

    He added that he had to return the scrubs and the hospital laundry was likely to ask about the bullet holes.

    Why does having a mob of snipers on the Israeli side of the fence seem a bit excessive?

  3. Benny says

    Seems the Hamas ignored the 1000 ft border no go zone. My understanding is that crossing this line risks the tresspasser with a shot in head, not just a leg.
    Regarding BDS, it is the same as the allied forces detained Nazi supporters in WW 2.
    BTW Gaza is not occupied, Israel will be happy to close all land crossing with them, cut off Israeli power, gas and water lines letting any boddy else to provide for this population as long as it isn’t military materials.
    Not even the PA has control over Gaza.

  4. komarov says

    The Israel parliament is also considering passing legislation that prohibits the photographing or filming of IDF soldiers.

    Oh, just imagine how much nicer history books would look if something like that was enforced successfully. Instead of all those awful (and very kid-unfriendly!) pictures of atrocities, you could have pretty pictures captioned, for example, “Wehrmacht soldier liberating Stalingrad”, “US bomber bringing democracy” or “Israeli sniper bravely holding back the barbarians”, all annotated with “(Artist’s rendering)” True, you could already print history books like that but the non-rendered non-artistic depictions that keep cropping up everywhere make it very awkward.

  5. Alexander Raff says

    Wish you guys could actually follow the spirit of your website and engage in “free thought” instead of regurgitating easily disproven Hamas propaganda.

    Hamas started these riots with the intent and purpose of breaching Israel’s borders:

    “Palestinian “marchers” were told to break down the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, a clear and present danger to all those living in Jewish communities only hundreds of yards from that fence.

    Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, could not have been clearer about his goals: “We will take down the border and tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klFbf6VG7uA

    Man, tear their hearts out from their bodies. Sounds like such peaceful people, right? Clearly the Israeli’s have no cause for alarm.

    Thankfully, Hamas does us a favor and gives a manual to rioters in how to behave, and published detailed d instructions for breaching the border, and capturing or killing Israelis and maps of the closest Israeli communities.

    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-e4f1bc8d484a7285297be1c5432e9cf1

    NOW, let’s look at Nijar’s (the nurses) statements on her facebook:”

    “I am returning and not retreating. “Hit me with your bullets. I am not afraid”

    https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1IX5OA-OCATP

    So this person knowingly participated in these Hamas-influenced riots. She put herself in harm’s way here, she was not targeted and killed because she was a nurse. The Israeli’s have been candid about their rules of engagement, so far not engaged by any “free thinker” here.

    Ultimately, the Israeli’s have a right to defend their border. Palestinians do not have a right to kill Israeli’s because their god commands them to or because their great great grandfather was displaced in war 70 years ago. If you guys want to pretend the IDF is out their targeting protesters for sport, believe what you want. But the facts show otherwise. It is shameful to see such pandering to a depraved terrorist movement that glorifies death and preaches genocide. All it takes is a few photos and hyperbolic testimony to guilt free-thinkers into accepting Palestinian propaganda.

  6. Alexander Raff says

    HA! You guys require moderation and call yourself freethinkers. Website is probably hosted in free-thinking Gaza where critics of Hamas are shot on the street. Amazing :).

  7. Mano Singham says

    Alexander Raff @#7,

    You are jumping to conclusions. Moderation is for first time commenters only, as a common spam prevention measure. Once a post is approved, no further moderation is required for that poster unless there are too many links, which is another spam-control filter.

  8. KG says

    All it takes is a few photos and hyperbolic testimony to guilt free-thinkers into accepting Palestinian propaganda. – Alexander Raff@7

    Well, that and the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians by the IDF. Vile though Hamas is, the completely one-sided death toll in this confrontation tells its own story, and no amount of bleating from you and other propagandists for the IDF is likely to change that.

  9. Mark Dowd says

    @Benny #4

    Seems the Hamas ignored the 1000 ft border no go zone. My understanding is that crossing this line risks the tresspasser with a shot in head, not just a leg.

    And you just accept that situation as OK, without questioning if it is justifiable to indiscriminately shoot someone just for being too close to their side of the fence.

    Go fuck yourself.

    Regarding BDS, it is the same as the allied forces detained Nazi supporters in WW 2

    Political imprisonment is NEVER moral or ethical. Spies, saboteurs, and enemy agents are one thing, but imprisoning advocates for the enemy just makes you evil. Yes, that includes Nazi sympathizers in WW2.

    Go fuck yourself.

    BTW Gaza is not occupied, Israel will be happy to close all land crossing with them, cut off Israeli power, gas and water lines letting any boddy else to provide for this population as long as it isn’t military materials.
    Not even the PA has control over Gaza.

    Right. It’s not occupied, Isreal just has complete control over everything that goes in or comes out. That’s totally fucking different.

    I do not have wit, charm, or grace to spare for a stupid sack of shit like you who cannot even type a SINGLE FUCKING SENTENCE that is not an evil pile of garbage.

  10. Alexander Raff1 says

    Not sure if my comments are being posted here, sorry if there are duplicates:

    |”You are jumping to conclusions. Moderation is for first time commenters only, as a common spam prevention measure. Once a post is approved, no further moderation is required for that poster unless there are too many links, which is another spam-control filter.”

    My apologies Mano! I’ve encountered a few progressive-oriented blogs that moderate comments with alternative views. Appreciate the openness here :).

    “Well, that and the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians by the IDF. Vile though Hamas is, the completely one-sided death toll in this confrontation tells its own story, and no amount of bleating from you and other propagandists for the IDF is likely to change that.”

    -The majority of deaths are Hamas/Islamic Jihad.
    -Who collects the most casualties has nothing to do with victimhood. ~20 American deaths to 20,000 ISIS deaths, I guess ISIS the victim here? What kind of logic is this? Israeli’s value the lives of their citizens, Palestinians pay their people to kill themselves – literally. They bus children to the border and arm them. They militarize protected areas. They bend over backwards to kill Gazans for PR purposes because everyone is so eager to believe the Jews kill little babies and whatnot.

    “And you just accept that situation as OK, without questioning if it is justifiable to indiscriminately shoot someone just for being too close to their side of the fence.”

    Brother, no one is being “indiscriminately” shot for “just” being too close to the fence. If that were the case, the majority of those shot and killed wouldn’t be Hamas/Islamic Jihad members.

    Israel has a right to defend its borders. The unwillingness to acknowledge and condemn Hamas’ duplicitious war-fighting behavior is quite disturbing here – busing children to the border, organizing walls of civilians to shield their fighters, planting explosives on the border..tunnels..etc..

    Political imprisonment is NEVER moral or ethical. Spies, saboteurs, and enemy agents are one thing, but imprisoning advocates for the enemy just makes you evil. Yes, that includes Nazi sympathizers in WW2.

    Israel is under no obligation to trade or open its borders with a movement that advocates its obliteration. The Israeli’s forfeited Gaza and billions of dollars were ready to be invested – the Palestinians chose Hamas in a democratic election. What did they think the result would be?

    In spite of this, the Israeli’s transport 28 million pounds of humanitarian and goods into Gaza each month. 20,000 Gazans receive medical treatment every month in Israel. In comparsion, less than 100 have been treated in Egypt in the last 10 years.

    Think about that. And Egypt only opens up their border twice a year….

    “Right. It’s not occupied, Isreal just has complete control over everything that goes in or comes out. That’s totally fucking different.”

    How man Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and soldiers in Gaza? Oh yeah, fucking zero brother :).

    Palestinians need Hamas and Palestinian Authority approval to leave and enter the Strip. Goods too must pass through Hamas inspection (a.k.a theft and tribute.) Also, recall Gaza also shares a border with Egypt. Why aren’t the Egyptians trading and opening themselves up to Hamas?

    Maybe because Hamas has love hate relationship with ISIS in the Sinai because they turn a blind eye to the weapons shipment critical for Hamas’ military?

    Also consider the Palestinian Authority supports Israel’s blockade and threatened to suspend security cooperation if Israel modified it…

    Is nothing the fault of the Palestinians here? I have trouble feeling sorry for a government that literally pays its people to kill themselves and advocates the genocide of Jewish people around the world. Even while the international community subsidizes their cause at 1.5 billion USD per year.

    I can think of many people far more deserving of such aid and support who are suffering far far far more than Gazans. And they aren’t represented by a terrorist movement…

    Maybe the Israeli’s should be more like the Egyptians and Arabs since pro-Palestinian advocates don’t seem so interested in their policies towards the Palestinians?

  11. A Lurker from Mexico says

    I remember one of the most overused arguments in favor of Israel is “Hamas uses their people as human shields”, I think Alexander Raffi did a version of it up there.

    It’s bullshit. Hypocritical bullshit at that. Netanyahu is building illegal settlements in disputed territory. What is that if not using jews as a meat shield against Hamas? From what I gather, Israel was founded to be a safe haven to a persecuted people. Why is their government knowingly putting them in harms’ way?

    Just checked for news of israeli people being killed by a palestinian. The most recent one I found (that specifies where it happened) was of 3 israelis being shot to death by a palestinian in Har Adar. A big question is where the fuck is Har Adar? It’s not within Israel’s 1949 border (or it’s current border, really). Why do you let civilians walk around (and live in) an active war zone? Is it not what Hamas does? Place innocent civilians in the crossfire in hopes that you get to play the victim when they get murdered? Why does a legitimate government operate in exactly the same manner as a terrorist organization?

    The fact is that most jewish people are nothing but cannon fodder and meat shields to power Netanyahu’s quest for ethnic cleansing. That and free PR people, unknowingly lending their good name and reputation to this Hitler wannabe. They deserve better.

  12. Alexander Raff1 says

    @ Lurker

    -Hamas’ entire war-fighting behavior is fundamentally illegal. They militarize schools, hospitals, mosques, UN facilities. The entire neighborhood of Shajiyya was one big military base – massive military tunnels constructed underneath hospitals, UN nurseries, etc. Satellite, drone footage, and direct physical evidence shows this. Not “bullshit.” Try to engage the evidence, as hard as that may be.

    -Netanyahu is building illegal settlements in disputed territory. What is that if not using jews as a meat shield against Hamas? From what I gather, Israel was founded to be a safe haven to a persecuted people. Why is their government knowingly putting them in harms’ way?

    There are no settlements in Gaza. Humans aren’t a deterrent for Hamas, that makes no sense. The legality of the settlements in the WH has no bearing on the protected status of civilians. Their protection and right to live is not in dispute. Hamas or anyone has no legal to murder people because they happen to live in the West Bank.

    Arabs were murdering Jews under similar pretense before Israel was a state. In Hebron, 50+ Jews were massacred by Arab mobs – incited by their leadership, leaders worshipped and glorified by Hamas today – and this is was motivated the Jews to establish their own militia.

    Also, the WB is not an “active war-zone.” I fail to see the similarities here. More clarity on the matter would be appreciated.

    Also, no new settlements have been built in the past 20 years. Almost all construction is in existing settlements in areas that would remain in Israel under any future agreement. And the original Oslo Accords placed no limitation on construction – indeed settlements weren’t even a primary concern and a source of jobs for Palestinians. Today concern about the settlements among Palestinians is a minority view, only propagated by the government so they don’t need to negotiate.

    It’s funny to see Netanyahu compared to Hitler when Hitler is worshipped in the Arab world and their rhetoric and political ideology most closely resembles the Nazis. Their war-fighting behavior is even more indefensible. The Nazis at least built bomb shelters for their kids, while Palestinians use them as combatants and then parade their deaths for PR purposes. Disgusting.

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