Not front page news? If not, why not? Are the army out of control? If not, who is deciding that children are legitimate targets? The following is from Jewish Voice for Peace.
The first two items below, issued Tuesday July 29 and Wednesday July 30 and circulated on activist email networks, announce two separate demonstrations by Israeli peace groups protesting Israels’ violent targeting of Palestinian children and, in particular, of children taking part in attempts at peaceful protests against the severe oppression they experience under occupation.
In many cases it is the violence of the Israeli military that intentionally escalates plans for peaceful resistance and the third item below, from “Haaretz”, reports a discipline problem in the military deployed to contain civilian protests in the West Bank, despite a campaign by the chief of staff “to restore discipline to the IDF” after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006. According to the July 30th report, “a series of events – the shooting of a bound Palestinian protester; two Military Police probes; and as of Tuesday the suspension of a battalion commander – show a worrying and dangerous downward spiral.”
Reflecting the significance of international organizing and activism against these incidents, journalist Amos Harel adds that, “these happenings are taking place under increased scrutiny by the international media” In an absurd inversion of logic and blame he claims that this, “encourages the opponents of the fence to ratchet up the conflict [and a]pparently, it also increases pressure on IDF officers, who are having difficulty keeping events in check,” implying that the out-of-control violence Israel’s military can be attributed to international scrutiny and pressure.
From: Adar Grayevsky
To: adar grayevsky
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:55 PM
Subject: [againstwall] 10 year old boy murdered in Nilin – Demo today infront of Barak’s home at 19:00
Ahmad Husam Yousef Mousa murdered yesterday in Nilin-
Demonstration today, Wednesday, at 19:00 in front of defense minister Barak’s home We’ll meet at 18:30 at El Al terminal,Tel Aviv central train station (Arlozorov) Ahmad Husam Yousef Mousa, 10 years old, was murdered yesterday as he demonstrated together with his friends against the separation wall which is being constructed on the lands of his village Nilin. When Ahmad and his friends reached the construction site the soldiers shot rubber bullets at them and they began to retreat. At that point one of the soldiers shot a live round at Ahmad’s head from a distance of about 10 meters.
During the demo earlier in the day, 18 demonstrators were injured.
During 6 years of popular struggle against the wall, the occupation forces have killed 11 demonstrators, 7 of them children, and thousands were injured. Time and time again, soldiers violently suppress demonstrations and attack those who take part in them with lethal weapons. To date, none of the soldiers who killed demonstrators has been prosecuted.
Today, Wednesday we will set out to protest the murder of 10 year old Ahmad in front of the home of defense minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv.
Stop the Killing, Stop the Occupation !
We’ll meet at 18:30 at El Al terminal,Tel Aviv central train station (Arlozorov)
>From there we will march to the Akirov towers on Pinkas street where Barak lives.
For more details call Dan 050-7851465
We are invited by children of South Hebron area to join them in a non violent protest against the settlers’ attacks of the school children of Tuba and the expansion of the illegal outpost Havat maon.
This week the school children where attacked again by masked settlers. One of the international activists who were escorting them was injured, and his camera was stolen.
This Saturday, 2/8/2008, Palestinians, Israeli and international activists will march together in a joint call to end the occupation, stop the settlers’ violence, land theft and illegal building.
Your presence is very important especially these days, as the army and police are trying to prevent our non-violent solidarity activities in the west bank, while no serious action is taken against those who act violently on a regular basis.
For registration send mail with your name and phone number to . Pafush@yahoo.com
We will leave Jerusalem at 8:00. Transportation from Tel-Aviv will be arranged according to the no. of participants.
Please bring a lot of water, walking shoes,a hat, ID, and dress in a respectful way.
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update – 07:14 30/07/2008
ANALYSIS: Israeli security forces losing control in the West Bank
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
Recent protests around the village of Na’alin in opposition to the separation fence seem to show a loss of control. The death of a 9-year-old, apparently shot by a Border Policeman, is the most serious turn of events so far. Palestinian sources said the boy, Ahmed Moussa, was in the area of the clashes and was shot in the head; the Palestinian Authority’s director of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, and West Bank Civil Administration head Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai agreed that an Israel Defense Forces doctor would examine the boy’s body to determine the circumstances of his death.
However, a series of events – the shooting of a bound Palestinian protester; two Military Police probes; and as of Tuesday the suspension of a battalion commander – show a worrying and dangerous downward spiral. The fact that these happenings are taking place under increased scrutiny by the international media encourages the opponents of the fence to ratchet up the conflict. Apparently, it also increases pressure on IDF officers, who are having difficulty keeping events in check.
Na’alin has in recent months become an arena of daily fighting as work on the fence there has damaged thousands of dunams of agricultural land owned by the villagers. The struggle against the fence is relatively violent, with dozens of Border Police and IDF soldiers injured by stones thrown at them.
The release by the human rights organization B’Tselem of video footage showing an Armored Corps battalion commander, Lt. Col. Omri Bruberg, holding a protester while a soldier shot him with a rubber bullet at a distance of about 1.5 meters, focused media attention on protest and ignited an embarrassing battle of versions between the battalion commander and the soldier, his direct subordinate. Following the Military Police probe, a polygraph test and leaks to the press, GOC Northern Command Gad Eisenkot (Bruberg’s commanding officer) gave the necessary, if belated, order to send the officer on leave until the investigation is concluded.
Even according to Bruberg’s minimalist version, he authorized the soldier to rattle his weapon “as a deterrent,” when using a weapon to frighten a restrained person is strictly forbidden by the rules of engagement. Now Bruberg is also under investigation for allegedly kicking a Palestinian. In the latter case, it is still difficult to know whether the complaint is authentic or whether it is a matter of “hitching a ride” on an officer who is clearly in trouble.
According to IDF statistics, the boy who was shot Tuesday was the first Palestinian citizen to be killed in the West Bank this year, after the killing of 34 terrorists (the Palestinians count a number of civilians killed, but they, too, concede that the number is low). That figure reflects more care in this matter than in previous years, along with a lessening of friction with the Palestinian population. The control by PA security forces in the West Bank, as well as security coordination with the IDF, are improving.
But every funeral of a child oils the wheels of the struggle and could result in major terror attacks. The Shin Bet security service notes that pictures of dead children following Operation Warm Winter in March was a major spur to the terrorist who attacked the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.
The situation in Na’alin is the kind of problem that requires the personal attention of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as of GOC Central Command Gad Shamni. In an interview in 2004, Ashkenazi, then deputy chief of staff, said: “My greatest concern is that the IDF will lose its humanity because of the continued fighting.” That has not happened to the extent Ashkenazi feared, but neither does the chief of staff’s campaign to restore discipline to the IDF after the Second Lebanon War seem to have been a great success in view of the events in Na’alin.
· Officer suspended after failing polygraph over Na’alin shooting
· IDF launches new probe of officer who ordered bound Palestinian shot
· Palestinian boy, 9, killed during protest at West Bank fence