Politics

Do we care if Palestinians are still dying? Even if its a child?

Israeli border guards arrested for ‘stripping & sexually harassing’ Palestinian women

As four-year-old Palestinian dies Yvonne Ridley asks how often you read beyond the headlines after seeing key buzz words like Gaza, funeral, Hamas and protests?

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How often do you glance at headlines and move on after spotting keywords like Gaza, funeral, Hamas and protests? Such news has almost become normal and certainly not attention-grabbing.

I ask simply because a few days ago The Times of Israel ran a story with the headline: Gazan child succumbs to shrapnel wounds from IDF bullet, Hamas official says.

Let that just sink in for a few moments.

OK. So if I still have your attention the child in the headline was four years old, a Palestinian and he was hit by live ammunition east of Khan Younis fired by Israeli snipers.

The Israeli military regularly fires into the crowds of unarmed men, women and children who protest every Friday at the border with Israel since the launch of the peaceful resistance movement called Great March of Return.

Little Ahmed Abu Abed died late on Tuesday days after being hit by shrapnel when he attended the protest with his father Yasser Abu Abed.

Yasser is a father to four other children and has been unemployed for the past seven years because there is simply no work in the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to him, Ahmed, who was the youngest among his siblings, insisted on joining his father on December 10. “I never used to take him with me,” Yasser, who regularly attends the Friday demonstrations, said. “We’re simply asking for basic rights.

“We were a few hundred metres away from the fence when the Israeli soldiers started firing at us. It felt more like a bomb, so loud and frightening,” he said.

While Yasser was shot in the arm, his four-year-old son suffered injuries from shrapnel in his stomach, neck and right eye, which affected his brain and central nervous system. He spent four days in intensive care before he died of his injuries.

Israel often accuses Hamas of using defenceless Palestinians as human shields but if that is the case why would Israeli snipers target them, for they indeed do kill unarmed men, women and children.

Are Israeli snipers firing wildly and randomly into the crowds which would be criminal and illegal? Or are they deliberately targeting civilians are they simply terrible shots with no focus or shooting skills?

Whichever way you look at it, Israeli snipers are either incompetent or deliberately targeting unarmed civilians.

And why are the Palestinians from Gaza braving the live ammunition fired on them every Friday? They are using peaceful resistance to demand their right to their ancestral lands from which they were expelled 70 years ago.

The great March of Return rallies marks what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba or Catastrophe when 750,000 Palestinians from forcibly removed from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel’s establishment in 1948.

So far Israeli snipers have killed more than 220 Palestinians in Gaza since the peaceful border protests began. Ahmed is not the first child to be wiped out in this way … in September two children, both boys aged 12 and 14, were shot dead by Israeli snipers.

There was global outrage on May 14 when more than 60 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during protests against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Has the world become so desensitised to the slaughter of Palestinians that the sight of the tiny body of Ahmed, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, on the day of his funeral barely registers more than a column inch in newspapers?

Israel’s military says it does “everything possible to avoid harming children.”  Really? REALLY? Well stop using live ammunition and firing randomly into crowds of civilians, then!


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