Sunday 15 March 2009


Most people, especially those of us raised to be
"Holocaust sensitive",
simply do not believe that IDF
soldiers target women and children on purpose.

They find it inconceivable that a 10 year old boy
killed by s
port-shooting soldiers whilst guarding
his goats is possible.
They will say,
"he must have done something wrong."
This evening
I found posts from 2006 on this topic.
Things have not changed
much since then
as the world saw during this last

genocidal attack on the civilians of Gaza.

But first, please read the heart-wrenching story
of a recent occurrence a few weeks ago in Gaza.
Needless to say this small story
never made the news in the West,
but this sort of crime is a daily occurrence
in Palestine ~ and has been
since the start of the occupation in 1948


The only surviving photograph of 13 year old Hammad Silmiya,
taken when he was seven. ©Malian
On the 14 of February 2009, almost a month after Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, thirteen year old Hammad Silmiya was grazing his sheep and goats in northeast Gaza, about 500 metres from the border with Israel. An Israeli military jeep patrolling the border opened fire on him and his teenage friends. Hammad was shot in the head and he died almost instantly.
Hammad’s death barely made the news ~ just another casualty in the Gaza Strip, where civilian injuries and deaths continue to mount daily. His family had already endured the killing of Hammad’s grandmother, his two cousins, aged four and eighteen months, and the destruction of their homes and livestock during Israel’s offensive.
“It was Saturday morning and Hammad woke up at six,” says Hammad’s aunt Jomai’a, 40. “He left with his brother and a couple of young friends to graze the animals. At around ten in the morning Hammad was preparing some breakfast in the field like he always did. An Israeli military vehicle fired at them and shot him in the head.”
Jomai’a pulls out a plastic bag from the folds of her black shawl and unties the knot. Inside a small envelope is the only remaining photograph they have of Hammad, taken when he was seven years old. More recent photographs of him were lost in the rubble of their home.
“Hammad was like a beloved son to me because I have no children of my own and he always slept beside me,” says Jomai’a. “Whenever he needed anything, he would ask me. They used to say Hammad didn’t have just one mother, he had two ~ his real mother, and I. Hammad owned a part of my heart and it went with him when he died.”
Hammad’s aunt Jomai’a (left) and mother Salma (right). ©Malian
Hammad had left school just a few months ago to work fulltime as a shepherd and help his family. “I tried to force him to go back to school but all he cared about was working with the goats and riding his donkey,” says Jomai’a. “He was so good with animals. Whenever he came home from school, he’d throw his bag in the house and run to be with the animals.”
“Tanks began firing at the area at two in the morning on the 5 of January,” recalls Jomai’a. “The first bomb hit our house and I ran to my mother’s room because she is 80 years old and bedridden. Then a second shell hit the house and we had to run, leaving her behind. We were like scared goats whose stable door had been opened. We fled to Jabaliya and then to Zeitoun where we sheltered in schools. Every day I begged ambulances and medics to help me go and evacuate my mother. I even said I would walk in front of the ambulance, carrying a white flag, but it was too dangerous and they refused.”
When the Silmiya family returned to the area on 18 January , they found their row of houses had been flattened by F-16 air strikes and it took them three days to uncover Hammad’s grandmother from the rubble. Hammad was buried next to his grandmother just a few weeks later.
The Silmiya shelter in front of their bombed house. ©Malian
“The war is not over,” says Hammad’s mother Salma. “There is no quiet time in Gaza and we often see F-16s in the sky. But Hammad was never afraid. He was strong and full of energy. His younger brother says he wishes the Israelis had killed him instead because everybody loved Hammad. He also refuses to take any food or tea with him now when he goes shepherding because Hammad was making breakfast when they shot him.”
In the days before his death Hammad had been upset about his donkey that was killed during the Israeli ground invasion along with sixty goats and three cows belonging to his father Barrak Salem Salaam Silmiya, whose three surnames are all derivatives of the word ‘peace’ in Arabic. “We want peace, but where is it? Where are human rights in Gaza?” asks 47-year-old Barrak as he shows us the animal remains still floating in the mud around the ruins of his house.
Hammad’s father Barrak Salem Salaam Silmiya, surrounded by
the carcasses of his livestock and the remains of his home. ©Malian
“Hammad was 13 years old. In anyone’s eyes he looked like a child, but they still shot him. He was very bright and he was great with animals. He even used to sell our milk and cheese in the market. What more can I tell the world about my son? How can I speak about him? Big countries can’t even stop Israel so what can I do? I feel like I’m nothing. This area was just houses and a street. Were these goats fighters? There’s nothing left…”
As Barrak turns to walk away Hammad’s mother Salma rises to her feet: “These fifteen days since Hammad died have felt like five hundred. Hammad was dark, and he was beautiful. Food has no taste anymore.”
“Everybody who saw Hammad that morning before he was killed said his face had looked particularly beautiful,” adds his aunt Jomai’a. “This is not a war against a strong government or country. Israel kills us like we are animals and dogs and nobody stands with us.

A claim often made about Israel is, "They don't target innocent civilians. They never have." That simply is not true.

The Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff summarized General Gur's comments as follows: "In South Lebanon we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it." The importance of Gur's remarks is the admission that the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. "The Army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but purposely attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been struck."/span>
Israeli soldiers shot Sabreen Abu Sneineh, 8, in the head,
in Hebron, Aug. 12, 2001. She was walking to school.

The attacks made by Sharon's Unit 101 were
directed against completely innocent civilians in villages that had no known relation to terrorist acts, for example, Qibya, where 66 civilians were massacred in October 1953 in the first major operation of Sharon's Unit 101.

The military doctrine of attacking defenseless civilians derives from David Ben-Gurion, who was quite explicit about it, though not in public of course. In a January 1, 1948, entry in his Independence War Diary, Ben-Gurion wrote:

"There is no question as to whether a reaction is necessary or not. The question is only time and place. Blowing up a house is not enough. What is necessary is cruel and strong reactions. We need precision in time, place, and casualties. If we know the family, we must strike mercilessly, women and children included. Otherwise, the reaction is inefficient. At the place of action, there is no need to distinguish between guilty and innocent."

The Diary of former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett is another major source of evidence for a conscious policy of deliberate, unprovoked cross-border attacks, in which advantage was taken of superior military power and a servile western propaganda machine, with the intent of destabilizing neighboring states and provoking them into military responses. Sharett was a foot dragger in these enterprises, often shaken by the ruthlessness of the military establishment.

"The long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented, and so many clashes we have purposefully provoked; the narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness of our military leaders who seem to presume that the State of Israel may ~ or even must ~ behave in the realm of international relations according to the laws of the jungle." he wrote. Sharett himself referred to this long effort as "a sacred terrorism."

Shadi Arafi, 13, killed in an IDF attack on him and his 3 brothers. The 8 and 10 year old are now paralyzed. The 2-year old was blown to pieces and his parts had to be collected. The brothers were sitting in a park, Dec 10, 2001, in Hebron.

This lack of respect for life of goyim is extracted from the Talmud, the holy book of most Zionists. The most hidden core of Talmudism and the blackest of Satanic witchcraft almost always involves the sacrificial offerings of innocents by fire.

And as I pointed out, Israeli soldiers still target civilians, including children. What reporters have witnessed first hand has been documented by an Israeli human rights group and has been confirmed by Israeli soldiers admissions. Physicians for Human Rights USA, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem all confirm the Israeli policy of targeting civilians.

Certainly the events on the Gaza Strip from December through to late January are proof of this. Stories abound of women and children found dead, shot, bombed in any number of ways. All of them documented.

The Israeli press, international human rights organizations, and medical relief agencies have all reported on the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli forces. In the first year of the conflict, for example, at least 45 Palestinian children were confirmed to have been killed by Israeli gunfire to the head. Yet, two of the networks carried no reports on this disturbing phenomenon, and one network, CBS, reported on it only once (“...a 12-year-old boy shot in the head by an Israeli soldier...” 10/10/00).

Physicians for Human Rights USA, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem all confirm the Israeli policy of targeting civilians. Are they all lying anti-Semites? You don't want to be an irrational denier do you?

Ibrahim Al-Mugrabi weeps over his 11-year-old son, Khalil Ibrahim, slain in Rafah after IDF strafed playground with machine gun fire. Two others,3 and 12 were injured, one seriously in the stomach. There were 30 children playing at the time and the soldiers just opened fire.

About half of those sustaining gunshot head injuries were children under the age of sixteen, and 15% of the wounded were women. During this four year period, on average, one child under the age of six was shot in the head every two weeks. These and other violations of the military regulations did not lead to the prosecution of the violators, the provision of remedial measures, or reparations for the injured." ~ Neve Gordon, former director of the Israeli and Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights.

Links are here:

What has been confirmed by human rights groups has also been observed directly by journalists. A notable example was a lengthy investigative report in the New York Times Magazine by Michael Finkel, who responded directly to Israel's claims that its soldiers shot only when they were under threat. In a striking passage about the clashes at Karni Crossing, a checkpoint on a road leading from the Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip into Israel, Finkel recounts:

"I spent two weeks at Karni during daylight hours, and in my time there, the Israeli Army fired live ammunition almost every day. Sometimes only two or three shots, sometimes a dozen or more. On occasion the shots were fired when cars or buses needed to enter or exit the settlement, at other times I could ascertain no reason for the shooting. Not once did I see or hear a single shot from the Palestinian side. Never during the time I spent at Karni did an Israeli soldier appear to be in mortal danger. Nor was either an Israeli soldier or settler even slightly injured. In that two-week period, at least 11 Palestinians were killed during the day at Karni."

[Source: "Playing War" by Michael Finkel, New York Times Magazine, December 24, 2000]

The body of Mohammad Abu Kweik, 8, is lifted from the truck he was in, bombed by IDF in Ramallah, March 4, 2002. Six Palestinians, his mother, Bushra Kweik, 38, and two sisters, Bara, 14, and Aziza, 16, were killed when the IDF bombed their truck as their mother drove them home from school.

The body of Bara Kweik next to one of her school books. Of this incident,
PM Ariel Sharon commented, "Anyone wishing
to conduct negotiations with Palestinians must first
hit them hard, inflict heavy losses on their side."

In October 2001, Harper's magazine published the "Gaza Diary" of journalist Chris Hedges. Hedges' entry for June 17, 2001 provides even more shocking evidence of the wanton and deliberate killing of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers at Gaza's Khan Yunis refugee camp.

Hedges writes:

"It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker.

'Come on, dogs,' the voice booms in Arabic. 'Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!'

I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: 'Son of a bitch!' 'Son of a whore!' 'Your mother's cunt!' To any Middle Eastern male, such slurs on the women of his family are simply not to be borne.

The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.

A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children's slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen.

Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered ~ death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo ~ but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.

There can be no doubt that Israeli troops have been targeting innocent Palestinian civilians for death from the beginning of the uprising. This understanding was reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 1322, passed on October 7, 2000, which "Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life."

In making the moral superiority claim, Israel's apologists are either shamelessly denying the irrefutable evidence cited above and are simply lying, or they are asserting that some forms of murder are morally superior to other forms of murder. Again, according to the Talmud this is so.

Woman killed when tanks fired into a mosque filled with
female worshipers.
Many women were injured and killed.

"A conscript soldier who gave testimony to B'Tselem told of a procedure in a particular area of the West Bank during which IDF jeeps were sent as a provocation to areas of friction with Palestinians in order to serve as bait for throwers of stones and petrol bombs. When the latter would approach, the soldiers, who had taken up position in advance at other points, would shoot at them.

The stated goal of this procedure was to distance the demonstrations from other sites, but in fact, stated the soldier, "It became a kind of sport, to knock down as many fire-bombers as possible. It was an obsessive search. It's called 'strive to make contact." What bothers me is, had the jeeps not have entered, there would have been no disturbances of the peace."

The rubber-coated metal bullets in theory are supposed to be non-lethal and their use is supposed to adhere to the IDF's own stated regulations. The rubber-coated metal bullets are not supposed to be aimed at the head. Rubber Coating or not, they are still frequently used.

For many years, the IDF has been using rubber-coated metal bullets for dispersal of demonstrations in the Occupied Territories. B'Tselem has repeatedly warned against the IDF's widespread use of these bullets and the erroneous treatment of them as non-lethal, despite their great destructive potential and the large number of casualties, including many children, resulting from their use.

Over the course of the intifada, B'Tselem documented many incidents in which shooting took place in contravention of the regulations and with no real attempt to prevent killing and causing grave bodily injuries. An inquiry undertaken by Physicians for Human Rights (U.S.A.) at the beginning of the intifada demonstrated that many young Palestinians sustained head and eye injuries from rubber bullets. The organization determined that such injuries bear testimony to the illegal use of this means.

The rubber-coated metal bullets come in packets of three and are meant to be fired as a packet so they go slower in order for them to remain non-lethal, you are not supposed to separate the bullet packet. One conscript soldier informed B'Tselem that "I do not know a single soldier who does not separate the parts of the bullet"

Another soldier said "When the company commander gave us a lesson about rubber bullets, he said that you shoot them together in packets of three, and that is almost ineffective because they are too heavy; but if you separate them ~ it can kill. He added, with a wink: "I'm not hinting at anything" The guys laughed and said to him: 'You are not hinting ~ you're saying.' He didn't correct them".

He added that in his opinion, the battalion commander also separates. From talking to the guys, it is clear to me that this is ignored, and everyone shoots rubber bullets that have been separated. I don't think that there is anyone who shoots them without separating them. I always ask people about it and they are shocked by the very question. It is clear to them that you shoot them separately.

Murdered 3-month-oldDiya Tmaizi lies between her murdered parents. The baby and four other civilians were shot and killed as they shopped in the local market, Thursday, July 19, 2001, near Idna. The local settlers proudly claimed this as a victory for Israel.

B'Tselem documented cases of both the IDF soldiers initiating fire, not merely responding and also of the IDF returning fire but not aiming exclusively at Palestinian sources of shooting. A conscript soldier who served in the Gaza Strip stated in his testimony to B'Tselem that, "While I was at the post, there were a number of cases of shooting. I thought that it was an exchange of fire, but afterward I understood from discussions with other soldiers that it was just soldiers shooting out of boredom at anything that moved.

"Soldiers at two different positions would coordinate opening fire between them, and afterward they would say that they were under fire. It is important for me to state that I am not talking about single shots, but very massive shooting. In the beginning, I was sure that they had really fired at our post, but afterward I understood, as stated, that it was shooting out of boredom. From conversations with my friends who were at posts in other areas, it became clear to me that it occurs in those places as well. My friends, who were at the post in the Strip. Told me that they emptied entire crates of ammunition out of boredom."

Ariel Shatil, a reserve soldier, told Yediot Aharonot daily regarding this topic that "They say 'The Palestinians are shooting at us and we are responding.' It's not true. There was one officer there who said to the soldiers guarding at the lookout: "Too quiet for you? You're not sure? Fire a couple of rounds.' Every night they would shoot. We start and they shoot back."

A soldier in the regular army who served in the Gaza Strip told B'Tselem that "In theory, the orders given to us state that it is forbidden to shoot if the source of shooting is not identified," but said that in practice, "If they shoot at you from one building, and you shoot at the entire neighborhood the soldiers will probably not tell the commanders, but I find it hard to believe that the high-level commanders are not familiar with this phenomenon."

He added,"I know from discussions with other soldiers that when they shoot on them, they return with heavy, non-proportional fire, even if they do not exactly identify the source of the shooting. A few days ago, I spoke with a friend of mine whom they fired at. He told me that they returned massive fire in the direction of the shooting without identifying it precisely. When I stated to him the fact that he could have easily hit passers by,
he said that he didn't care. In my opinion, this occurs with great frequency. "

Ahmed Ghanem bids a final farewell to his big brother, Mahmoud,
13, in the West Bank. While playing soccer with friends,
Mahmoud was shot in the head March 10, 2002 by Israeli troops.

Whatever the reason, the young of Palestine
are targeted frequently. And they die in great numbers.
The attitude of many young soldiers is,
"in 20 years they will be terrorists".

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