Israeli Violence Against Peaceful Palestinian Demonstrators
Saturday, March 30, marked the 43rd anniversary of Land Day for Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories.
The anniversary is all about Palestinian resistance against Israeli theft of their land, displacing them for exclusive Jewish development and use.
It’s against the systematic transformation of historic Palestine into a state affording rights to Jews alone, Arabs treated like nonpersons, Israeli Arab citizens, 20% of the population, treated like fifth column threats.
March 30 was also the one-year anniversary of weekly Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza against Israel’s illegal suffocating blockade, an act of war without declaring it.
Two million Gazans are held hostage by Israeli viciousness, the world community doing nothing to relieve their suffering, nothing to hold Israel accountable for high crimes too serious to ignore.
They include three premeditated wars of aggression on the Strip since December 2008, along with intermittent terror-bombings and cross-border incursions, civilians threatening no one harmed most.
On Saturday, Sabreen al-Najjar, mother of 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar, commemorated her daughter’s murder at the hands of an Israeli sniper – an angel of mercy paramedic, a victim of Gaza’s killing fields.
Dressed in white attire, identifying her as a first responder medic, she was lethally shot in the neck and back, an exploding dum dum bullet destroying her heart, killing her instantly.
“My daughter…Razan…was (lethally) shot by an Israeli sniper while wearing her white uniform and trying to rescue those injured protesting for their rights,” said Sabreen, adding:
“During Razan’s short life, she was confined to a densely populated, prison-like strip of land, surrounded by Israeli blockades and walls.”
“She witnessed three Israeli military aggressions that wounded and killed thousands of innocent Palestinians. For her and for all Palestinians, the Great Return March is our cry for justice.”
“As we stand together peacefully, every weekend, for the rights and freedoms freely given to others without hesitation, it’s the obligation of the international community to act and stop supplying Israel with the weapons that it used to kill Razan and so many others like her.”
“I call on organizations and states to implement our Palestinian call for a military embargo against Israel so that we can live in freedom and peace.”
Gaza-based BDS community organizer Abulrahman Abunahel said “(f)or more than seven decades, Palestinian people have been struggling to return to their homes from which they were uprooted in the Nakba in 1948.”
“Israel denies us our right of return. On the first anniversary of the ongoing Great March of Return in Gaza, we reiterate the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestinian rights.”
“It is high time to fully isolate and prosecute the Israeli regime of settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid. The bloodshed in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine must be stopped.”
According to Gaza’s health ministry, Israeli soldiers killed 266 Palestinians, injuring over 30,000 others since Great Gazan March of Return demonstrations began one year ago.
On Saturday, Israeli snipers killed four Palestinians, injuring 316 others, including 86 children and 29 women, said Gaza’s health ministry – many seriously during all Great March of Return protests, including yesterday’s.
Razan and two other Palestinian medics were killed, 665 others wounded, and 112 ambulances damaged, Gaza’s health ministry explained.
At least two clearly identified journalists by their attire were killed, dozens of others wearing press IDs injured.
Israeli soldiers and other security forces routinely attack peaceful Palestinian demonstrators throughout the Territories with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, and other repressive tactics.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned Israeli use of lethal force against peaceful protesters threatening no one – how its regimes confront all nonviolent demonstrations, falsely blaming Palestinians for high crimes committed against them.
Like ahead of all Great March of Return demonstrations, the IDF set up fortified positions on the Israeli side of the border, snipers positioned with orders to use live fire and other toughness against peaceful protesters.
Israeli media reported that the IDF deployed three brigades of combat troops and an artillery battalion along the Gaza border, along with 200 snipers.
PCHR: “According to observations by (its) fieldworkers (on the ground in Gaza), Israeli forces…stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the (peaceful) demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them.”
As in previous weeks, tens of thousands of Gazans turned out on Saturday, including entire families. Threatening no one, Israeli soldiers fired on them for target practice, gunning down or otherwise injuring hundreds.
Reporting on what happened on Saturday, the NYT featured a photo of a Palestinian demonstrator using a sling shot to hurl a likely stone in the direction of Israeli forces, safely behind barricades, too far away to be harmed – instead of showing IDF snipers gunning down Palestinians in cold blood.
The Times turned truth on its head, calling Saturday events “mostly peaceful” – entirely so by Palestinians, nothing of the kind by IDF soldiers, attacking them unrestrained.
The photo published by the Times was unrelated to Saturday protests, showing black smoke from burning tires.
Haaretz reported the following: “As part of understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinians through Egyptian mediation on Friday, Palestinians refrained from setting ablaze car tires at the protest sites.”
The Times (and other US media) falsely accused Gazans of hurling “dozens of homemade bombs” at Israeli soldiers. Nothing of the kind occurred. Demonstrators were entirely peaceful as during other Great March of Return protests.
The Times quoted IDF spokesman, Lt. Col Jonathan Conruus’ Big Lie, claiming “(i)t’s clear that Hamas controls the level of violence (sic),” adding:
“When they want less violence (sic), we see that they can keep people back from the fence. And when they want more violence (sic), they get more violence (sic).”
The Times lied saying “Israel made a point before Saturday of cautioning its soldiers against taking shots that might hit unintended targets.”
Fact: The Netanyahu regime and IDF consider civilians legitimate targets, including young children and women – 86 children and 29 women wounded by live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and toxic tear gas on Saturday.
Many thousands of Gazans have been protesting weekly and other times against their virtual incarceration in the world’s largest open-air prison.
Though unable to change things, their courage against a brutal occupier got worldwide attention. With nothing to lose, they’re unlikely to quit as long as their suffering continues.
A Final Comment
On March 29, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) explained major media calls to renounce violence is almost exclusively directed at Muslims, saying:
“A FAIR survey of the phrase “renounce violence” in the New York Times over the past 10 years shows that 95 percent of the time the demand is made of Muslim organizations, people or political parties, the most prominent being the Taliban and Hamas.”
“There are zero instances of anyone in the Times — whether reporters quoting officials or columnists — from March 28, 2009, to March 28, 2019, insisting or suggesting that the United States, Israel or any white-majority country ‘renounce violence.’ ”
The above information should surprise no one. The self-styled newspaper of record and other establishment media operate as virtual imperial press agents – supporting US-led NATO and Israeli wars of aggression, along with their other hostile actions against targeted nations and people.
That’s what the scourge of imperialism is all about, establishment media acting as accomplices.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”