[DEBATE] : FW: B'Tselem report: Israeli soldiers shot woman waving white flag in Gaza Strip
Salim.Vally at wits.ac.za
Thu Jan 15 13:33:59 GMT 2009
This report, typical of B'Tselem, gives the impression as if this is a
rare occasion that demands special documentation and exposure. Of course
it demands all the attention, but it must be put in context. Tens of
eyewitness reports on Aljazeera point to a POLICY of shooting at
civilians carrying white flags trying to escape the hell that the
occupation army has made of their homes. By decontextualizing this
crime, B'Tselem is actually contributing, whether inadvertently or not
-- to minmizing the exposure of criminal POLICIES adopted by the Israeli
army in its genocidal war -- and siege, before it -- on Gaza.
In the most shocking incident to date, a father told the story of how
his three young daughters had to leave the house to get food and water
for the family when the Israeli soliders rained them with bullets,
killing his 8-year old with 8 bullets in the chest and upper body. The
oldest girl was also killed instantly by bullets. The youngest, 4 years
old, received two bullets, one in her hand, the other entered her back
and exited through her abdomen. She told the Aljazeera reporter the
whole story while lying on a bloodied hospital bed. She is paralyzed in
most of her body and is not expected to recover from that condition.
Another piece of context that B'tselem, again typically, left out was
the POLICY of preventing medical teams from reaching injured
Palestinians, leaving them to bleed to death. This age-old Israeli
military policy became gained wide recognition during Israel's bloody
suppression of the first intifada. It became much more prevalent during
the second initifada, reaching a record with Israel's acts of genocide
There are widely disseminated and accepted fundamentalist
interpretations of Jewish law that explicitly justify such a criminal
policy based on halacha. The late Israel Shahak exposed how official
Israeli army documents (written by the army chaplian during the war on
Lebanon in 1982) called on Israeli medics NOT to save the lives of
injured gentiles in Lebanon. When Shahak, and later Shulamit Aloni,
challenged the Israeli Medical Association to condemn this army pamphlet
and uphold the Hypocrites Oath, the IMA refused. It still does. THAT you
won't read in ANY B'Tselem report.
Some will argue, better B'Tselem than nothing. Perhaps.
Press Release - for immediate publication
B'Tselem: Witness reports that Israeli soldiers shot woman waving white
flag in Gaza Strip
A Palestinian who is besieged with his family in the Khuza'a area, in
the south-eastern Gaza Strip, notified B'Tselem that soldiers had shot a
woman waving a white flag and several civilians who were fleeing a
bombed house on army orders.
Munir Shafik a-Najar, a resident of Khuza'a village, told B'Tselem's
researcher by telephone that as of 2.30 A.M., the army has been
demolishing homes in his area, which lies near the border with Israel.
The forces have been using gunfire to signal civilians to evacuate their
This morning, Rawhiya a-Najar, 50, stepped out of her house waving a
white flag, so that the rest of the family could leave the house and
walk behind her. The witness reported that she was shot and fell.
Neither family members nor rescue workers have managed to reach her to
ascertain her condition, but she is still lying motionless where she
This afternoon, the army announced on loudspeakers that residents are to
leave their homes and walk to a school in the village center. Some 30
people left their houses carrying white flags. The witness reported that
after they had walked approximately 20 meters, fire was opened at the
group, killing three of his relatives: Muhammad Salman a-Najar, 54,
Ahmad Jum'a a-Najar, 25, and Khalil Hamdan a-Najar, 80. Many others were
The rest of the group took cover in a nearby house, in which there are
currently 46 persons waiting to evacuate the premises and take shelter
in the village school. B'Tselem has passed on the information at its
disposal to the army and the Red Crescent.
Although B'Tselem cannot, at present, independently verify or disprove
the witness's claims, it believes their severity merits immediate
notification of the media.
The witness, Munir a-Najar, wishes to talk to the media (speaks Arabic
only). To receive his phone number and further details: Sarit Michaeli,
Communications Director, at +972 (0)50-5387230 or saritm at btselem.org
+972 (0)2 6735599 (office)
+972 (0)50 5387230 (cell)
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