position:paramedic

  • Killed Palestinian woman laid to rest in Gaza
    Jan. 12, 2019 4:28 P.M. (Updated : Jan. 12, 2019 4:28 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782243

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian crowds marched, Saturday noon, in the funeral of Amal Mustafa Taramsi , 43, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon.

    Hundreds of Palestinians, alongside head of the Hamas movement’s politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, and several other movement leaders took part in the funeral.

    The funeral procession set off from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City towards her home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood before burial at the neighborhood’s cemetery.

    More than 25 Palestinians were injured during Friday protests with live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets while dozens of others suffered tear-gas inhalation.

    Two journalists and a paramedic were among injuries, while a Palestinian ambulance was also targeted by Israeli forces.

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    Updated : Soldiers Kill One Woman, Injure 25 Palestinians, Including A Medic and Two Journalists, In Gaza
    January 11, 2019 4:46 PM
    http://imemc.org/article/soldiers-injure-kill-one-woman-injure-14-palestinians-including-a-medic-in-ga

    The Palestinian Health Ministry said the slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Amal Mustafa at-Taramisi , 43, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, north of Gaza city.

    It added that the woman was shot in her head, and died from her serious wounds shortly after she was injured.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour


  • A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?
    The New York Times - By David M. Halbfinger - Dec. 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/world/middleeast/gaza-medic-israel-shooting.html

    KHUZAA, Gaza Strip — A young medic in a head scarf runs into danger, her only protection a white lab coat. Through a haze of tear gas and black smoke, she tries to reach a man sprawled on the ground along the Gaza border. Israeli soldiers, their weapons leveled, watch warily from the other side.

    Minutes later, a rifle shot rips through the din, and the Israeli-Palestinian drama has its newest tragic figure.

    For a few days in June, the world took notice of the death of 20-year-old Rouzan al-Najjar, killed while treating the wounded at protests against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Even as she was buried, she became a symbol of the conflict, with both sides staking out competing and mutually exclusive narratives.

    To the Palestinians, she was an innocent martyr killed in cold blood, an example of Israel’s disregard for Palestinian life. To the Israelis, she was part of a violent protest aimed at destroying their country, to which lethal force is a legitimate response as a last resort.

    Palestinian witnesses embellished their initial accounts, saying she was shot while raising her hands in the air. The Israeli military tweeted a tendentiously edited video that made it sound like she was offering herself as a human shield for terrorists.

    In each version, Ms. Najjar was little more than a cardboard cutout.

    An investigation by The New York Times found that Ms. Najjar, and what happened on the evening of June 1, were far more complicated than either narrative allowed. Charismatic and committed, she defied the expectations of both sides. Her death was a poignant illustration of the cost of Israel’s use of battlefield weapons to control the protests, a policy that has taken the lives of nearly 200 Palestinians.

    It also shows how each side is locked into a seemingly unending and insolvable cycle of violence. The Palestinians trying to tear down the fence are risking their lives to make a point, knowing that the protests amount to little more than a public relations stunt for Hamas, the militant movement that rules Gaza. And Israel, the far stronger party, continues to focus on containment rather than finding a solution.

    In life, Ms. Najjar was a natural leader whose uncommon bravery struck some peers as foolhardy. She was a capable young medic, but one who was largely self-taught and lied about her lack of education. She was a feminist, by Gaza standards, shattering traditional gender rules, but also a daughter who doted on her father, was particular about her appearance and was slowly assembling a trousseau. She inspired others with her outward jauntiness, while privately she was consumed with dread in her final days.

    The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. (...)

    Rouzan al-Najjar, 20, was killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1 while she was treating the wounded at protests at the Gaza border.CreditIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
    #Razan_al-Najjar


  • Three Palestinians, including Child and Disabled Man, Killed and 148 Wounded as Israeli Forces Shoot at Unarmed Protesters in the Gaza Strip
    Al Mezan Center For Human Rights - 21-12-2018 21:03
    http://mezan.org/en/post/23339

    During the thirty-ninth week of the Great Return March demonstrations in Gaza, the Israeli military continued to use lethal and other forms of excessive force on Palestinian protesters. The documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that on Friday, 21 December 2018, Israeli forces killed three protesters, including one child and one disabled man, and injured 148 other protesters, including 20 children, three women, two journalists, and one paramedic. Of the injured, 70 were wounded by live fire, including nine children. Three suffered from serious wounds.

    The documentation indicates a trend of Israeli soldiers’ deliberate use of live ammunition, plastic-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters on unarmed protesters but journalists, and paramedics. Al Mezan’s documentation shows that on Friday:

    — At 4pm, Israeli forces shot Mohammed Al-Jahjouh , 16, with a live bullet in the neck at the demonstration in east Gaza City. Mohammed, a resident of Al-Shati’ refugee camp in west Gaza City,died of his injury at 4:25pm on the same day.

    — At 4:50pm, Israeli forces shot Maher Yasin , 40, with a live bullet in the head at the demonstration in east Al-Burij refugee camp in the Middle Gaza district. Maher, a resident of Al-Nuseirat refugee camp, also in the Middle Gaza district, was disabled since childhood. At 7:30pm on the same day, he succumbed to his wounds.

    — At 3:30pm, Israeli forces shot Abdul-Aziz Abu Sharee’a , 28, with a live bullet in the stomach at the demonstration in east Gaza City. Abdul-Aziz, a resident of Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, died of his injury at 8:50pm on the same day.

    — Sami Mosran, 34, a reporter for Al-Aqsa TV, was injured with a live bullet in his left leg at the demonstration in east Al-Burij refugee camp.

    — Ahmed Hamad, 20, a freelance photojournalist, was injured with a plastic-coated steel in both of his hands at the demonstration in east Gaza City.

    — Mohammed Muhaisen, 34, a photojournalist with Middle East Monitor, had his camera broken from shrapnel of live ammunition at the demonstration in east Gaza City.

    — Abdul-Aziz Al-Najar, 27, a paramedic with the Medical Relief Society, was injured in the right thigh by a tear gas canister at the demonstration in east Khan Younis. (...)

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour


  • Palestinian paramedic injured as Israel suppresses Gaza naval march
    Dec. 10, 2018 5:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 11, 2018 11:20 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782038

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian paramedic was injured with a tear-gas bomb and a Palestinian was injured with live Israeli fire as Israeli forces suppressed the 19th weekly naval march in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday afternoon.

    Palestinian protesters gathered at the northern borders of the Gaza Strip to take part in protests in an attempt to break the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

    Israeli war boats opened live fire and tear-gas bombs at Palestinian protesters and boats attempting to break the siege.

    Boats had set off from the Gaza seaport towards the Israeli “Zikim” beach.

    Many attempts have been made throughout the years to draw the public’s attention to and break the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip whether via ships attempting to sail into Gaza or ships attempting to sail from Gaza.

    #marchecôtière


  • 18 Palestinians injured in Gaza protests
    Nov. 30, 2018 5:51 P.M. (Updated : Dec. 1, 2018 4:33 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781950

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — At least 18 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces’ live fire during the 36th Friday of “The Great March of Return” protests alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.

    Israeli forces fired live bullets and and tear-gas bombs to suppress protesters, while youths set fire to tires in the Malaka area in eastern Gaza City in the central Gaza Strip, and Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

    Witnesses told a Ma’an reported that Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinians in eastern Abasan al-Kabira in eastern Khan Younis.

    Palestinian protesters had arrived at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip to take part in protests of the 36th Friday of return and breaking the siege protests.

    Israeli soldiers deployed at the borders opened live fire at protesters in the return camp of eastern al-Breij refugee camp.(...)

    • On 36th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Wound 58 Civilians, including 14 Children and Paramedic
      November 30, 2018
      https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=11668

      On Friday evening, 30 November 2018, Israeli forces wounded 58 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and a paramedic in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the fifth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.

      According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from setting fire to tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.


  • In video - Palestinian shot, killed for alleged attack near Gush Etzion
    Nov. 26, 2018 12:47 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 26, 2018 4:23 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=781903

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces killed a 32-year-old Palestinian paramedic, on Monday, near the Gush Etzion junction south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, for allegedly carrying out a car-ramming attack.
    The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) confirmed that Israeli forces shot and killed Ramzi Abu Yabes, 32, a resident from the Dheisheh refugee camp and father of two children, while he was on his way to the southern West Bank city of Hebron for work.

    The alleged car-ramming attack injured three Israeli soldiers near the Karmei Tzur settlement, south of the junction.

    Medical crews also confirmed that one of the three soldiers suffered moderate injuries, while the two others suffered minor injuries.
    Israeli forces held a PRCS ambulance that was transporting Ramzi’s body and took his body by force in an Israeli miliatry vehicle to an unknown location.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israeli Army Kills A Palestinian Near Hebron
      November 26, 2018 6:50 PM
      http://imemc.org/article/israeli-army-kills-a-palestinian-near-hebron

      Mohammad Sami al-Ja’bari, the deputy-head of the Emergency Department at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Hebron, told the Maan News Agency in a phone interview, that the PRCS received a call regarding a traffic accident near Beit Ummar, before the medics rushed to the scene.

      “After arriving there, the medics took the wounded Palestinian out of his car, and connected him to a cardiograph machine,” Al-Ja’bari said, “But the army stopped the ambulance, and took him away – we were not informed about any Israeli injuries until the soldiers asked us for neck braces.”

      The slain Palestinian is a father of two children, and was on his way to Hebron for work.

      It should be noted that Israeli forces frequently misclassify vehicle collisions between Palestinian and Israeli vehicles as ‘deliberate ramming attacks’, when many are likely accidents.


  • » Updated: Army Kills One Palestinian, Injures At Least 37 In Gaza
    IMEMC News - November 10, 2018 1:10 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/at-least-37-injured-at-gazas-borders

    The Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has confirmed that one Palestinian was killed by Israeli army fire, Friday, while 37 others were injured, during the Great Return March processions near the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.

    Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, has reported that a young man, identified as Rami Wael Ishaq Qahman, 28, was shot and seriously injured, before he was rushed to the Gaza European Hospital, where he died from his wounds.

    The Palestinian was shot with a live round in the neck, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip., Dr. al-Qedra added.

    He also confirmed that at least 37 Palestinians were injured with Israeli live ammunition, including six children, nine women and one female paramedic, identified as Falasteen Qdeih, who was shot in the leg.

    Hundreds of Palestinian protesters held protests close to the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip; tires were set on fire across several areas while Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear-gas bombs to suppress protesters.

    According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, 221 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of “The Great March of Return” on March 30th, while more than 24,000 others have been injured.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour


  • Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

    Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

    “The Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in people’s private sexual practices, brutalizing and humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws,” said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisia should abolish its antiquated anti-sodomy laws and respect everyone’s right to privacy.”

    Human Rights Watch spoke with six men prosecuted in 2017 and 2018 under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. One person interviewed was only 17 years old the first time he was arrested. Human Rights Watch also reviewed the judicial files in these cases and five others that resulted in prosecutions under either article 230 or article 226, which criminalizes “harming public morals.” In addition to violating privacy rights, these cases included allegations of mistreatment in police custody, forced confessions, and denial of access to legal counsel.

    Police arrested some of these men after disputes arose between them or after neighbors reported them. Two had gone to the police to report being raped.

    Some of the men spent months in prison. At least three have left Tunisia and applied for asylum in European countries.

    K.S., a 32-year-old engineer, entered a police station in Monastir in June 2018 to file a complaint of gang rape, and to get an order for a medical examination of his injuries. Instead of treating him as a victim, he said, the police ordered an anal test to determine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy.” “How they treated me was insane,” K.S. told Human Rights Watch. “How is it their business to intrude into my intimate parts and check whether I am ‘used to sodomy’?”

    In another case, a 17-year-old was arrested three times on sodomy charges and was forced to undergo an anal examination, as well as months of conversion therapy at a juvenile detention center. Both harmful practices are discredited.

    Tunisian prosecutors have relied extensively in recent years on forced anal examinations to seek “evidence” of sodomy, even though the exams are highly unreliable and constitute cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture.

    On September 21, 2017, during the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Tunisia formally accepted a recommendation to end forced anal exams. However, Tunisia’s delegation stated: “Medical examinations will be conducted based on the consent of the person and in the presence of a medical expert.” This stance is not credible because trial courts can presume that a refusal to undergo the exam signals guilt, Human Rights Watch said. Tunisia should abandon anal exams altogether.

    Prosecutions for consensual sex in private and between adults violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a party. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the covenant, has stated that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that arrests for same-sex conduct between consenting adults are, by definition, arbitrary.

    Tunisia’s 2014 constitution, in article 24, obliges the government to protect the rights to privacy and the inviolability of the home. Article 21 provides that “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Article 23 prohibits “mental and physical torture.”

    The Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits house searches and seizure of objects that could serve a criminal investigation without a judicial warrant, except in cases of flagrante delicto, that is when catching someone in the act.

    Article 1 of Law No. 63 on the protection of personal data stipulates that “every person is entitled to the protection of their personal data and privacy of information, viewed as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. This data can only be used with transparency, loyalty and respect for the dignity of the person whose data is subject of treatment.” However, neither Law No. 63 nor any other domestic law regulates the conditions for seizing private data during a police investigation or its use.

    On June 12, the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality, appointed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, proposed, among other actions, to decriminalize homosexuality and to end anal testing in criminal investigations into homosexuality. It also proposed criminalizing the unlawful “interception, opening, recording, spreading, saving and deleting” of an electronic message.

    On October 11, 13 members of the Tunisian Parliament introduced draft legislation for a code on individual freedoms. It incorporated several proposals from the presidential commission including abolition of article 230.

    Parliament should move quickly on this draft legislation and abolish article 230, Human Rights Watch said. It should enact a law that effectively protects people’s privacy, through regulating the seizure and use of private data during criminal investigations, with consequences if such a law is violated.

    The Justice Ministry should meanwhile direct public prosecutors to abandon prosecutions under article 230. The Interior Ministry should investigate reports of the ill-treatment of people arrested based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Human Rights Watch conducted face to face interviews with men in Tunisia and phone interviews with men who fled to European countries. Pseudonyms have been used to protect their privacy.

    Shams and Damj, local LGBT rights groups, provided assistance.

    Accounts by Men Prosecuted

    K.S., 32, engineer

    K.S. used to work for an international company in Tunis. He said that on June 8, he went to spend the weekend in at a friend’s house in Monastir, a coastal city. He had earlier chatted with a man from Monastir on Grindr, a social network application for gays. They made a date and they met that day in a café. The man invited K.S. to his house, but once there, the man became aggressive and showed K.S. a police badge. Two other men arrived, and they started insulting him, calling him “sick.” “One said, ‘You people of Loth [a demeaning term derived from the Biblical and Quranic story of Lot], you deserve to be killed, you are like microbes.’”

    They punched and slapped him on the face, he said. Then the man who had invited him said, “We will show you what sodomy is like.” The men then forced him to take off his clothes and bend over. Two of them held K.S. by the arms while the third inserted a baton in his anus. “It was unbearable, I felt that I will faint,” K.S. said. They finally let him leave.

    I was shivering and bleeding [when I reached my friend’s house]. The next day, I went to Fattouma Bourguiba hospital in Monastir. I just wanted to get medical treatment and to check that I did not have internal hemorrhaging.

    But, he said, the doctor refused to examine him without a police order:

    I went to the Skanes district police station in Monastir, to try to get the requisition order. I did not want to tell the police the full story, so I just said that three men had raped me. The policeman who was typing my statement left the room at some point, and that’s when I saw on the screen that he was instructing the doctor at Fatouma Bourguiba hospital to examine whether I am ‘used to practicing sodomy.’ I felt the blood freeze in my body.

    Human Rights Watch reviewed the June 9 police requisition order, in which the chief instructs the doctor to examine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy” and whether he was victim of anal rape.

    K.S. said that, when the policeman returned to the office, K.S. asked if he could leave. The policeman replied: “And go where? You can’t leave before we check what kind of stuff you do.” The policeman called for a patrol car to drive K.S. to the hospital.

    The doctor told me that he has a requisition order to perform an anal test. “We want to check whether this is a habit,” he said. I was terrified. I told him that I didn’t want to do the test. But he insisted that he had to perform it. He told me to remove my pants and assume a prayer position [on hand and knees] on top of the medical bed. He put on gloves and started to examine me with his fingers. As soon as he did, I felt sick and told him I wanted to go to the toilet. I wanted to stop this humiliation. He let me go. I managed to avoid the policemen who were waiting for me in the corridor and left the hospital. Once in the parking lot, I started running until I felt safe, and then went to my friend’s house.

    K.S. said he took a flight on June 13 to Belgium, where he has filed a request for asylum.

    K. B., 41, documentary filmmaker

    K.B. spent 13 months in pretrial detention on accusation of sodomy and unlawful detention. He is married and the father of an 8-year-old girl. He told Human Rights Watch that on March 3, 2017, at around 9 p.m., he went to downtown Tunis for drinks. While he was sitting in a bar, S.Z., a young man, approached him. They chatted for a while, then K.B. invited him to his place. He said that, after having sex, he went to the kitchen to prepare some food. When he came back to the living room, he caught the man stealing money from his wallet. K.B. tried to force him out of his apartment, but the man locked himself in a bedroom, went to the balcony, and screamed for help. Policemen arrived, arrested them, and took them to the Aouina district police station.

    Police treated me with contempt. The first question the interrogator asked was whether I had sex with S.Z. I denied it categorically and told him we only had drinks together. But he said that S.Z. had confessed. The interrogator asked me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
    K.B. said the police at the station confiscated his phone and looked at his social media history and his photo archives. They switched the phone off and did not allow him to call his family or a lawyer. They presented him with a statement to sign, but he refused. At 4 a.m., they transferred both men to Bouchoucha detention center. Later that morning, the police took the men to the Tunis first instance court, where a prosecutor ordered them to undergo an anal test. The police took them to Charles Nicole hospital, K.B. said, where he refused the test. “The idea of them intruding into my intimacy and into my body was so humiliating to me.”

    He was returned to detention and after a few weeks decided to undergo the test in the hope that negative results would prove his innocence. He said he informed the investigative judge during a hearing and the judge issued a requisition. Police officers took him again to Charles Nicole Hospital.

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The doctor asked me to strip and get on the examination table. He asked me to bend over. There was one policeman in the room and one medical assistant, watching. The doctor put one finger into my anus and moved it around. I was so ashamed. It was very dehumanizing.

    K.B. said that even though the test result was negative, the investigative judge indicted him for sodomy. The order referring the case to trial said that the time elapsed between the alleged act and the test prevented the court from ruling out that K.B. was “used to the practice of sodomy.”

    In May 2018, 13 months after the court placed K.B. in pretrial detention, it acquitted and freed him.

    In the indictment, the investigative judge wrote that S.Z. had confessed to the police to “committing the crime of sodomy in exchange for money” and that he admitted that he “approached and dated men he met via Facebook.” The judge quotes the police report, which describes in crude terms the sexual intercourse between K.B. and S.Z. The judge also states that K.B has denied the accusation of sodomy, and instead stated that he and S.Z. were only having drinks at his place and did not have sex.

    The investigative judge notes that S.Z. later retracted his confession and says that he gave instructions for the forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole Hospital to administer an anal test to determine whether K.B “bore signs of the practice of homosexual activity” recently or whether he “practices sodomy in a habitual way.”

    The judge’s indictment of K. B. was based on S.Z.’s confession to the police, later repudiated, from “the circumstances of the case, which show that the two men had no other reason to go to K. B.’s house” and K. B.’s refusal to take the anal test. The judge wrote: “given that the test was performed 20 days after the reported incident, the forensic doctor was not able to find signs of anal penetration because those signs disappear five days after the act.”

    “Free” (nickname), 32, hairdresser

    Free said that on the night of April 5, 2018, he went with a female friend from Sousse to Monastir for drinks and to meet his boyfriend. When they arrived at around 9 p.m., he said, a police patrol stopped them and asked for their papers, then told the woman to accompany them to the station for further identity checks. Free waited outside the station.

    While waiting, Free received an angry message from his boyfriend asking him why he was late. Free explained where he was and snapped a photo of the station as proof. A police officer saw him and confiscated Free’s telephone, saying he had endangered state security. The officer took him to an interrogation room, where another officer handcuffed him to a chair. An officer searched the phone and finding nude photos of Free, then searched his social media activity and read the conversations he had with men on gay dating apps and his chats with his boyfriend on Facebook Messenger, some of them sexually explicit.

    Free said that the police officer turned to him and said, “I hate you, you sodomites. You will have to pay for your depravity.” Other police officers in the room insulted Free, he said. The officer interrogated him about his sexual activity, wrote a report, and told him to sign it. When Free refused, a policeman slapped him in the face and said, “Ah, now you are trying to be a man. Just sign here, you scum.” Free signed the report without reading it.

    At no point during the interrogation did the police advise Free of his right to speak to a lawyer. At around midnight, they moved him into a cell, where he spent the night. The following day, he was taken before a prosecutor, who charged him with sodomy but decided to release him provisionally pending trial. On June 6, he appeared before the first instance court in Monastir. The presiding judge closed the courtroom to the public.

    The first question he asked me was whether I am used to the practice of sodomy. I told him I was not. He asked the question again, then asked, “Then why did you confess?” I answered, “Because the police forced me to.” The judge asked, “But if you are not a sodomite, why do you dress like this, why do you look like one of them?”

    He said the judge adjourned the trial to June 14, when he convicted Free and sentenced him to a four-months sentence with probation, based on his phone conversations and his forced confession. Free has appealed.

    M. R., 26, paramedic

    M.R. worked in a hospital in Tebourba, a city 40 kilometers west of Tunis. He fled to France and applied for asylum after being charged under article 230 and granted pretrial release.

    M.R. said he had always hidden his sexual orientation because of severe social stigma. In November 2017, he chatted with a man on Facebook. The man, called A.F., sent him photos, and they decided to meet. When they did, M.R. realized that the photos were fake and told A.F. that he would not have sex with him. A few days later, on November 28, A.F. banged on his door at around 4 a.m. Fearing scandal, M.R. opened the door to find A.F. drunk and wielding a knife. A.F. slapped him on the face, ordered him to remove his clothes, and raped him, he said, threatening to cut his throat. After a few hours, A.F. told M.R. to buy A.F. cigarettes. M.R. went to the Tebourba police station and filed a rape complaint.

    When I told the police officers about the rape, they asked me how I knew the man and how we met. I dodged the questions, but they insisted. I told them that I am gay, and their behavior changed instantly. The station chief said: “Ah, so you were the one who initiated this, you are an accomplice to the crime, there is no rape here – you deserve this.” Then, he handed me a requisition order and told me to go get an anal test the following day at Charles Nicole Hospital.

    The police interrogated M.R., then accompanied him to his apartment, where they arrested A.F. The police told M.R. to undergo the anal examination, then report to the First Instance Court in Manouba. M.R. consulted the nongovernmental association Shams, which defends sexual minorities, and decided to skip the anal test. When he reported to the court, the investigative judge treated him as a criminal, not a victim. M.R. said:

    He asked questions about my sex life and when I started practicing sodomy with other men. He said that I deserved everything that had happened to me and that I should be ashamed of myself.

    M.R. said that the judge charged him with sodomy and granted him pretrial release. A.F. was kept in custody and charged with sodomy and rape.

    The indictment of M.R., prepared by the investigative judge and dated December 13, 2017, provides purported details from M.R.’s intimate life, including confessions that he is gay. The indictment also relies on the confession from A.F. and cites a condom seized at M. R.’s house as evidence.

    M.R. said that, three days after the encounter with A.F., he reported to work at the hospital. The director handed him a dismissal notice on the grounds that he was facing trial.

    I had to go back to my family’s place, as I had no salary anymore. It was like living in a prison. My father and older brother beat me many times, my father even burned me with a cigarette. They did not allow me to go out, they said they were ashamed of me.

    Having lost everything, he left Tunisia for France.

    I had no other choice, I felt rejected by everyone, my family, society, my colleagues. And I was afraid of going to prison.

    Mounir Baatour, M.R.’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the case is stalled in the first instance court in Manouba, and has yet to go to trial. On May 15, 2018, indictment chamber sent the indictment to the cassation court for a legal review, which is pending.

    R. F., 42, day laborer, and M.J. 22, unemployed

    On June 12, 2018, police in Sidi Bouzaiane arrested R.F. and M.J. after R.F. went to the police to say that M.J. had refused to leave R.F.’s house.

    M.J. said that the police came to his house and took both men to the police station at around midnight. They interrogated them in the same room, asking them how they met. A police officer took R.F.’s phone and watched videos stored on it, then said to R.F., “So you are a miboun [a degrading term for gay]. M.J. said:

    One of the four officers present during interrogation slapped R.F. on the face. Then he turned toward me and asked, “So what were you both doing in the house? I’m sure you were having sex, so you too must be a miboun. You are staining this country,” he said.

    M.J. said that policemen beat him on his face, head, and back. When the police finished the interrogation at 3 a.m., they presented a written report and told M.J. to sign it. He said he asked to have a lawyer first, but they refused to let him call one and insulted him. He signed the report.

    The police report, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, states that neither man requested a lawyer. R.F.’s purported statement, as the police recorded it, describes in graphic terms how he habitually practices sodomy and has sex with men. The police report states that officers searched R.F.’s smartphone and found videos of R.F. having sex with men. The police confiscated his phone, the report says, as “evidence of the crime.”

    Two days after the arrest, M.J. said, he and R.F. appeared before a prosecutor, who asked them: “Aren’t you afraid of God’s judgment?” He ordered pretrial detention, and they were sent to the Sidi Bouzid prison. M.J. said that one of the prison guards harassed him and asked him vulgar questions such as: “How you do this? Are you getting fucked for money? Why are you fucking men? Aren’t there enough women to fuck in this country?”

    He said he was put in a cell with 100 other men, who seemed to have been informed about his “crime.” Over the following days, his cellmates insulted, beat, and sexually harassed him. He said that one night, he refused to have sex with the cell “strongman”, so the man and two others beat him. He said they held his arms, while the strongman slapped him on the face and punched him on the chin.

    After a week in detention, he appeared before an investigative judge, who asked him about his sexual behavior. M.J. said he admitted that he is gay. He said he had done nothing wrong, but the judge replied, “You are harming society.”

    The first instance court in Sidi Bouzid sentenced the two men on June 12 to three months in prison for sodomy. The appeals court upheld the sentence.

    S.C., 24 and A.B., 22

    Police arrested S.C. and A.B. in Sousse on December 8, 2016, when they were allegedly caught committing sodomy in public. They were sentenced, on March 10, 2017, to eight months in prison under article 230 of the penal code and not on charges related to public indecency. The police report describes their sexual intercourse in detail and concludes that S.C. “committed active sodomy,” while A.B. was a “passive sodomite.”

    The judgment from the first instance court in Sousse, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that both denied committing sodomy or being homosexuals. It states that they were both subjected to anal examinations on December 9, 2016, that turned out “negative.” The judge concluded that: “the results of the anal tests cannot exonerate the accused of the crime, especially given that the [tests] were performed sometime after the facts.” The court based the guilty verdict only on the declarations by police officers and wrote that: “it is appropriate to sentence them to eight months as an adequate and dissuasive sentence proportional to the offense that they have committed.”

    A.C., 18, student

    A.C. was arrested three times for sodomy. The first time was in August 2017, when he was 17. Police forces arrested him at his house after his two sisters denounced him as gay and took him to the Kasba police station in Tunis. He said that they interrogated him extensively about his sexual orientation and took his smart phone and searched his personal data. The next day, they took him to a forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole hospital for an anal examination. He said he did not have a lawyer and that the police did not inform him of his right to have one.

    I did not understand what was going on. The police told me that the test is mandatory. The doctor told me to go on an examination bed and to bend, and then he inserted his fingers in my insides. The doctor did not explain what the test is about.

    A.C. said he was released without charge after spending two days in the Kasba police station.

    On May 15, 2018, he went to the police station in Sijoumi, in Tunis, in response to a summons. He said police officers told him his family had filed a complaint and questioned him for almost four hours. A.C. confessed to being gay. The police took him to Bouchoucha detention center in Tunis, where he spent the night. The next day, May 16, he appeared before the Tunis first instance court in Sidi Hassine, where an investigative judge interviewed him. The judge asked him: “Why are you like this? Don’t you know that what you’re doing is haram [forbidden under Islam]?”

    I told the judge that I didn’t break any laws, that what I do is my personal business. I did not hurt anyone. This is my private life and should not be the concern of anyone else.

    He said the judge ordered his detention for two months in a juvenile rehabilitation center, as he was still a minor, and forced him to undergo “conversion therapy,” a thoroughly discredited method to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the center, a psychiatrist visited him twice, telling him that “he should work on changing himself and his mind.” He appeared before another investigative judge, on June 25, who released him.

    A.C. said that on September 2, he was running some errands with his boyfriend when the police stopped them and asked for their identity cards. The police told A.C. that his family had filed a complaint against him. They took him to Hay Hlel police station in Tunis, where they questioned him about his sexual life, confiscated his phone, and looked at his photos and personal conversations. A prosecutor issued a warrant to detain him, and he spent eight days in the Bouchoucha detention center. On September 20, he appeared before a judge, who released him without charge.

    F.B, 28; N.A, 21 and B.K., 27, day laborers

    In Sousse, a coastal city, the police arrested three men in January 2017, after neighbors complained that they suspected the men were gay. In the indictment, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, the investigative judge states that the police went to the house where the men were staying, seized their phones, on which they found “evidence that they were sodomites,” as well as “women’s clothing,” and took the men to the police station.

    The investigative judge ruled that the men harmed public morals based on the content of the seized phones and “because they dressed up like women, used lipstick, and talked in a languid way.” The police report and the indictment, which usually would include information about a judicial warrant, did not indicate that the police had one. The three men were sentenced to two months in prison for the charge of harming public morals and served their terms.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/08/tunisia-privacy-threatened-homosexuality-arrests

    #Tunisie #homophobie #homosexualité #COI #LGBT


  • The Vulnerability Contest

    Traumatized Afghan child soldiers who were forced to fight in Syria struggle to find protection in Europe’s asylum lottery.

    Mosa did not choose to come forward. Word had spread among the thousands of asylum seekers huddled inside Moria that social workers were looking for lone children among the general population. High up on the hillside, in the Afghan area of the chaotic refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, some residents knew someone they suspected was still a minor. They led the aid workers to Mosa.

    The boy, whose broad and beardless face mark him out as a member of the Hazara ethnic group, had little reason to trust strangers. It was hard to persuade him just to sit with them and listen. Like many lone children, Mosa had slipped through the age assessment carried out on first arrival at Moria: He was registered as 27 years old. With the help of a translator, the social worker explained that there was still time to challenge his classification as an adult. But Mosa did not seem to be able to engage with what he was being told. It would take weeks to establish trust and reveal his real age and background.

    Most new arrivals experience shock when their hopes of a new life in Europe collide with Moria, the refugee camp most synonymous with the miserable consequences of Europe’s efforts to contain the flow of refugees and migrants across the Aegean. When it was built, the camp was meant to provide temporary shelter for fewer than 2,000 people. Since the European Union struck a deal in March 2016 with Turkey under which new arrivals are confined to Greece’s islands, Moria’s population has swollen to 9,000. It has become notorious for overcrowding, snowbound tents, freezing winter deaths, violent protests and suicides by adults and children alike.

    While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Stathis Poularakis is a lawyer who previously served for two years on an appeal committee dealing with asylum cases in Greece and has worked extensively on Lesbos. While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Asylum claims on Lesbos can take anywhere between six months and more than two years to be resolved. In the second quarter of 2018, Greece faced nearly four times as many asylum claims per capita as Germany. The E.U. has responded by increasing the presence of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and broadening its remit so that EASO officials can conduct asylum interviews. But the promises that EASO will bring Dutch-style efficiency conceal the fact that the vast majority of its hires are not seconded from other member states but drawn from the same pool of Greeks as the national asylum service.

    Asylum caseworkers at Moria face an overwhelming backlog and plummeting morale. A serving EASO official describes extraordinary “pressure to go faster” and said there was “so much subjectivity in the system.” The official also said that it was human nature to reject more claims “when you see every other country is closing its borders.”

    Meanwhile, the only way to escape Moria while your claim is being processed is to be recognized as a “vulnerable” case. Vulnerables get permission to move to the mainland or to more humane accommodation elsewhere on the island. The term is elastic and can apply to lone children and women, families or severely physically or mentally ill people. In all cases the onus is on the asylum seeker ultimately to persuade the asylum service, Greek doctors or the United Nations Refugee Agency that they are especially vulnerable.

    The ensuing scramble to get out of Moria has turned the camp into a vast “vulnerability contest,” said Poularakis. It is a ruthless competition that the most heavily traumatized are often in no condition to understand, let alone win.

    Twice a Refugee

    Mosa arrived at Moria in October 2017 and spent his first night in Europe sleeping rough outside the arrivals tent. While he slept someone stole his phone. When he awoke he was more worried about the lost phone than disputing the decision of the Frontex officer who registered him as an adult. Poularakis said age assessors are on the lookout for adults claiming to be children, but “if you say you’re an adult, no one is going to object.”

    Being a child has never afforded Mosa any protection in the past: He did not understand that his entire future could be at stake. Smugglers often warn refugee children not to reveal their real age, telling them that they will be prevented from traveling further if they do not pretend to be over 18 years old.

    Like many other Hazara of his generation, Mosa was born in Iran, the child of refugees who fled Afghanistan. Sometimes called “the cursed people,” the Hazara are followers of Shia Islam and an ethnic and religious minority in Afghanistan, a country whose wars are usually won by larger ethnic groups and followers of Sunni Islam. Their ancestry, traced by some historians to Genghis Khan, also means they are highly visible and have been targets for persecution by Afghan warlords from 19th-century Pashtun kings to today’s Taliban.

    In recent decades, millions of Hazara have fled Afghanistan, many of them to Iran, where their language, Dari, is a dialect of Persian Farsi, the country’s main language.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    Iran hosts 950,000 Afghan refugees who are registered with the U.N. and another 1.5 million undocumented Afghans. There are no official refugee camps, making displaced Afghans one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world. For those without the money to pay bribes, there is no route to permanent residency or citizenship. Most refugees survive without papers on the outskirts of cities such as the capital, Tehran. Those who received permits, before Iran stopped issuing them altogether in 2007, must renew them annually. The charges are unpredictable and high. Mostly, the Afghan Hazara survive as an underclass, providing cheap labor in workshops and constructions sites. This was how Mosa grew up.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    But he could not remain invisible forever and one day in October 2016, on his way home from work, he was detained by police for not having papers.

    Sitting in one of the cantinas opposite the entrance to Moria, Mosa haltingly explained what happened next. How he was threatened with prison in Iran or deportation to Afghanistan, a country in which he has never set foot. How he was told that that the only way out was to agree to fight in Syria – for which they would pay him and reward him with legal residence in Iran.

    “In Iran, you have to pay for papers,” said Mosa. “If you don’t pay, you don’t have papers. I do not know Afghanistan. I did not have a choice.”

    As he talked, Mosa spread out a sheaf of papers from a battered plastic wallet. Along with asylum documents was a small notepad decorated with pink and mauve elephants where he keeps the phone numbers of friends and family. It also contains a passport-sized green booklet with the crest of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a temporary residence permit. Inside its shiny cover is the photograph of a scared-looking boy, whom the document claims was born 27 years ago. It is the only I.D. he has ever owned and the date of birth has been faked to hide the fact that the country that issues it has been sending children to war.

    Mosa is not alone among the Hazara boys who have arrived in Greece seeking protection, carrying identification papers with inflated ages. Refugees Deeply has documented the cases of three Hazara child soldiers and corroborated their accounts with testimony from two other underage survivors. Their stories are of childhoods twice denied: once in Syria, where they were forced to fight, and then again after fleeing to Europe, where they are caught up in a system more focused on hard borders than on identifying the most damaged and vulnerable refugees.

    From Teenage Kicks to Adult Nightmares

    Karim’s descent into hell began with a prank. Together with a couple of friends, he recorded an angsty song riffing on growing up as a Hazara teenager in Tehran. Made when he was 16 years old, the song was meant to be funny. His band did not even have a name. The boys uploaded the track on a local file-sharing platform in 2014 and were as surprised as anyone when it was downloaded thousands of times. But after the surprise came a creeping sense of fear. Undocumented Afghan refugee families living in Tehran usually try to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Karim tried to have the song deleted, but after two months there was a knock on the door. It was the police.

    “I asked them how they found me,” he said. “I had no documents but they knew where I lived.”

    Already estranged from his family, the teenager was transported from his life of working in a pharmacy and staying with friends to life in a prison outside the capital. After two weeks inside, he was given three choices: to serve a five-year sentence; to be deported to Afghanistan; or to redeem himself by joining the Fatemiyoun.

    According to Iranian propaganda, the Fatemiyoun are Afghan volunteers deployed to Syria to protect the tomb of Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad. In reality, the Fatemiyoun Brigade is a unit of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, drawn overwhelmingly from Hazara communities, and it has fought in Iraq and Yemen, as well as Syria. Some estimates put its full strength at 15,000, which would make it the second-largest foreign force in support of the Assad regime, behind the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah.

    Karim was told he would be paid and given a one-year residence permit during leave back in Iran. Conscripts are promised that if they are “martyred,” their family will receive a pension and permanent status. “I wasn’t going to Afghanistan and I wasn’t going to prison,” said Karim. So he found himself forced to serve in the #Fatemiyoun.

    His first taste of the new life came when he was transferred to a training base outside Tehran, where the recruits, including other children, were given basic weapons training and religious indoctrination. They marched, crawled and prayed under the brigade’s yellow flag with a green arch, crossed by assault rifles and a Koranic phrase: “With the Help of God.”

    “Imagine me at 16,” said Karim. “I have no idea how to kill a bird. They got us to slaughter animals to get us ready. First, they prepare your brain to kill.”

    The 16-year-old’s first deployment was to Mosul in Iraq, where he served four months. When he was given leave back in Iran, Karim was told that to qualify for his residence permit he would need to serve a second term, this time in Syria. They were first sent into the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Raqqa. Because of his age and physique, Karim and some of the other underage soldiers were moved to the medical corps. He said that there were boys as young as 14 and he remembers a 15-year-old who fought using a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    “I knew nothing about Syria. I was just trying to survive. They were making us hate ISIS, dehumanizing them. Telling us not to leave one of them alive.” Since media reports revealed the existence of the Fatemiyoun, the brigade has set up a page on Facebook. Among pictures of “proud volunteers,” it shows stories of captured ISIS prisoners being fed and cared for. Karim recalls a different story.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    The casualties on both sides were overwhelming. At the al-Razi hospital in Aleppo, the young medic saw the morgue overwhelmed with bodies being stored two or three to a compartment. Despite promises to reward the families of martyrs, Karim said many of the bodies were not sent back to Iran.

    Mosa’s basic training passed in a blur. A shy boy whose parents had divorced when he was young and whose father became an opium addict, he had always shrunk from violence. He never wanted to touch the toy guns that other boys played with. Now he was being taught to break down, clean and fire an assault rifle.

    The trainees were taken three times a day to the imam, who preached to them about their holy duty and the iniquities of ISIS, often referred to as Daesh.

    “They told us that Daesh was the same but worse than the Taliban,” said Mosa. “I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t go to Syria by choice. They forced me to. I just needed the paper.”

    Mosa was born in 2001. Before being deployed to Syria, the recruits were given I.D. tags and papers that deliberately overstated their age: In 2017, Human Rights Watch released photographs of the tombstones of eight Afghan children who had died in Syria and whose families identified them as having been under 18 years old. The clerk who filled out Mosa’s forms did not trouble himself with complex math: He just changed 2001 to 1991. Mosa was one of four underage soldiers in his group. The boys were scared – their hands shook so hard they kept dropping their weapons. Two of them were dead within days of reaching the front lines.

    “I didn’t even know where we were exactly, somewhere in the mountains in a foreign country. I was scared all the time. Every time I saw a friend dying in front of my eyes I was thinking I would be next,” said Mosa.

    He has flashbacks of a friend who died next to him after being shot in the face by a sniper. After the incident, he could not sleep for four nights. The worst, he said, were the sudden raids by ISIS when they would capture Fatemiyoun fighters: “God knows what happened to them.”

    Iran does not release figures on the number of Fatemiyoun casualties. In a rare interview earlier this year, a senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard suggested as many as 1,500 Fatemiyoun had been killed in Syria. In Mashhad, an Iranian city near the border with Afghanistan where the brigade was first recruited, video footage has emerged of families demanding the bodies of their young men believed to have died in Syria. Mosa recalls patrols in Syria where 150 men and boys would go out and only 120 would return.

    Escaping Syria

    Abbas had two weeks left in Syria before going back to Iran on leave. After 10 weeks in what he describes as a “living hell,” he had begun to believe he might make it out alive. It was his second stint in Syria and, still only 17 years old, he had been chosen to be a paramedic, riding in the back of a 2008 Chevrolet truck converted into a makeshift ambulance.

    He remembers thinking that the ambulance and the hospital would have to be better than the bitter cold of the front line. His abiding memory from then was the sound of incoming 120mm shells. “They had a special voice,” Abbas said. “And when you hear it, you must lie down.”

    Following 15 days of nursing training, during which he was taught how to find a vein and administer injections, he was now an ambulance man, collecting the dead and wounded from the battlefields on which the Fatemiyoun were fighting ISIS.

    Abbas grew up in Ghazni in Afghanistan, but his childhood ended when his father died from cancer in 2013. Now the provider for the family, he traveled with smugglers across the border into Iran, to work for a tailor in Tehran who had known his father. He worked without documents and faced the same threats as the undocumented Hazara children born in Iran. Even more dangerous were the few attempts he made to return to Ghazni. The third time he attempted to hop the border he was captured by Iranian police.

    Abbas was packed onto a transport, along with 23 other children, and sent to Ordugah-i Muhaceran, a camplike detention center outside Mashhad. When they got there the Shia Hazara boys were separated from Sunni Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, who were pushed back across the border. Abbas was given the same choice as Karim and Mosa before him: Afghanistan or Syria. Many of the other forced recruits Abbas met in training, and later fought alongside in Syria, were addicts with a history of substance abuse.

    Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that Tramadol was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time.

    The Fatemiyoun officers dealt with withdrawal symptoms by handing out Tramadol, an opioid painkiller that is used to treat back pain but sometimes abused as a cheap alternative to methadone. The drug is a slow-release analgesic. Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that it was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time. One of the children reiterated that the painkiller meant he felt nothing. Users describe feeling intensely thirsty but say they avoid drinking water because it triggers serious nausea and vomiting. Tramadol is addictive and prolonged use can lead to insomnia and seizures.

    Life in the ambulance had not met Abbas’ expectations. He was still sent to the front line, only now it was to collect the dead and mutilated. Some soldiers shot themselves in the feet to escape the conflict.

    “We picked up people with no feet and no hands. Some of them were my friends,” Abbas said. “One man was in small, small pieces. We collected body parts I could not recognize and I didn’t know if they were Syrian or Iranian or Afghan. We just put them in bags.”

    Abbas did not make it to the 12th week. One morning, driving along a rubble-strewn road, his ambulance collided with an anti-tank mine. Abbas’ last memory of Syria is seeing the back doors of the vehicle blasted outward as he was thrown onto the road.

    When he awoke he was in a hospital bed in Iran. He would later learn that the Syrian ambulance driver had been killed and that the other Afghan medic in the vehicle had lost both his legs. At the time, his only thought was to escape.

    The Toll on Child Soldiers

    Alice Roorda first came into contact with child soldiers in 2001 in the refugee camps of Sierra Leone in West Africa. A child psychologist, she was sent there by the United Kingdom-based charity War Child. She was one of three psychologists for a camp of more than 5,000 heavily traumatized survivors of one of West Africa’s more brutal conflicts.

    “There was almost nothing we could do,” she admitted.

    The experience, together with later work in Uganda, has given her a deep grounding in the effects of war and post-conflict trauma on children. She said prolonged exposure to conflict zones has physical as well as psychological effects.

    “If you are chronically stressed, as in a war zone, you have consistently high levels of the two basic stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.”

    Even after reaching a calmer situation, the “stress baseline” remains high, she said. This impacts everything from the immune system to bowel movements. Veterans often suffer from complications related to the continual engagement of the psoas, or “fear muscle” – the deepest muscles in the body’s core, which connect the spine, through the pelvis, to the femurs.

    “With prolonged stress you start to see the world around you as more dangerous.” The medial prefrontal cortex, the section of the brain that interprets threat levels, is also affected, said Roorda. This part of the brain is sometimes called the “watchtower.”

    “When your watchtower isn’t functioning well you see everything as more dangerous. You are on high alert. This is not a conscious response; it is because the stress is already so close to the surface.”

    Psychological conditions that can be expected to develop include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Left untreated, these stress levels can lead to physical symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME) to high blood pressure or irritable bowel syndrome. Also common are heightened sensitivity to noise and insomnia.

    The trauma of war can also leave children frozen at the point when they were traumatized. “Their life is organized as if the trauma is still ongoing,” said Roorda. “It is difficult for them to take care of themselves, to make rational well informed choices, and to trust people.”

    The starting point for any treatment of child soldiers, said Roorda, is a calm environment. They need to release the tension with support groups and physical therapy, she said, and “a normal bedtime.”

    The Dutch psychologist, who is now based in Athens, acknowledged that what she is describing is the exact opposite of the conditions at #Moria.

    Endgame

    Karim is convinced that his facility for English has saved his life. While most Hazara boys arrive in Europe speaking only Farsi, Karim had taught himself some basic English before reaching Greece. As a boy in Tehran he had spent hours every day trying to pick up words and phrases from movies that he watched with subtitles on his phone. His favorite was The Godfather, which he said he must have seen 25 times. He now calls English his “safe zone” and said he prefers it to Farsi.

    When Karim reached Greece in March 2016, new arrivals were not yet confined to the islands. No one asked him if he was a child or an adult. He paid smugglers to help him escape Iran while on leave from Syria and after crossing through Turkey landed on Chios. Within a day and a half, he had passed through the port of Piraeus and reached Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, at Idomeni.

    When he realized the border was closed, he talked to some of the international aid workers who had come to help at the makeshift encampment where tens of thousands of refugees and migrants waited for a border that would not reopen. They ended up hiring him as a translator. Two years on, his English is now much improved and Karim has worked for a string of international NGOs and a branch of the Greek armed forces, where he was helped to successfully apply for asylum.

    The same job has also brought him to Moria. He earns an above-average salary for Greece and at first he said that his work on Lesbos is positive: “I’m not the only one who has a shitty background. It balances my mind to know that I’m not the only one.”

    But then he admits that it is difficult hearing and interpreting versions of his own life story from Afghan asylum seekers every day at work. He has had problems with depression and suffered flashbacks, “even though I’m in a safe country now.”

    Abbas got the help he needed to win the vulnerability contest. After he was initially registered as an adult, his age assessment was overturned and he was transferred from Moria to a shelter for children on Lesbos. He has since been moved again to a shelter in mainland Greece. While he waits to hear the decision on his protection status, Abbas – like other asylum seekers in Greece – receives 150 euros ($170) a month. This amount needs to cover all his expenses, from food and clothing to phone credit. The money is not enough to cover a regular course of the antidepressant Prozac and the sleeping pills he was prescribed by the psychiatrist he was able to see on Lesbos.

    “I save them for when it gets really bad,” he said.

    Since moving to the mainland he has been hospitalized once with convulsions, but his main worry is the pain in his groin. Abbas underwent a hernia operation in Iran, the result of injuries sustained as a child lifting adult bodies into the ambulance. He has been told that he will need to wait for four months to see a doctor in Greece who can tell him if he needs another operation.

    “I would like to go back to school,” he said. But in reality, Abbas knows that he will need to work and there is little future for an Afghan boy who can no longer lift heavy weights.

    Walking into an Afghan restaurant in downtown Athens – near Victoria Square, where the people smugglers do business – Abbas is thrilled to see Farsi singers performing on the television above the door. “I haven’t been in an Afghan restaurant for maybe three years,” he said to explain his excitement. His face brightens again when he catches sight of Ghormeh sabzi, a herb stew popular in Afghanistan and Iran that reminds him of his mother. “I miss being with them,” he said, “being among my family.”

    When the dish arrives he pauses before eating, taking out his phone and carefully photographing the plate from every angle.

    Mosa is about to mark the end of a full year in Moria. He remains in the same drab tent that reminds him every day of Syria. Serious weight loss has made his long limbs – the ones that made it easier for adults to pretend he was not a child – almost comically thin. His skin is laced with scars, but he refuses to go into detail about how he got them. Mosa has now turned 18 and seems to realize that his best chance of getting help may have gone.

    “Those people who don’t have problems, they give them vulnerability (status),” he said with evident anger. “If you tell them the truth, they don’t help you.”

    Then he apologises for the flash of temper. “I get upset and angry and my body shakes,” he said.

    Mosa explained that now when he gets angry he has learned to remove himself: “Sometimes I stuff my ears with toilet paper to make it quiet.”

    It is 10 months since Mosa had his asylum interview. The questions he expected about his time in the Fatemiyoun never came up. Instead, the interviewers asked him why he had not stayed in Turkey after reaching that country, having run away while on leave in Iran.

    The questions they did ask him point to his likely rejection and deportation. Why, he was asked, was his fear of being persecuted in Afghanistan credible? He told them that he has heard from other Afghan boys that police and security services in the capital, Kabul, were arresting ex-combatants from Syria.

    Like teenagers everywhere, many of the younger Fatemiyoun conscripts took selfies in Syria and posted them on Facebook or shared them on WhatsApp. The images, which include uniforms and insignia, can make him a target for Sunni reprisals. These pictures now haunt him as much as the faces of his dead comrades.

    Meanwhile, the fate he suffered two tours in Syria to avoid now seems to be the most that Europe can offer him. Without any of his earlier anger, he said, “I prefer to kill myself here than go to Afghanistan.”

    #enfants-soldats #syrie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #guerre #conflit #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #trauma #traumatisme #vulnérabilité

    ping @isskein


  • In Serious Escalation of  Using Excessive Lethal Force Against Peaceful Protestors in Eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli Forces Kill 7 Civilians, Including Child, and Wound 224 Others, Including 42 Children, 3 Women, 3 Journalists and Paramedic
    Palestinian Center for Human Rights | October 12, 2018
    https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=11460

    The persons killed were identified as:

    Ahmed Ibrahim Zaki al-Taweel (23), from Deir al-Balah, was hit with a live bulllet to the chest ineastern al-Buraij refugee camp.

    Mohammed Abdul Hafith Yusuf Isam’il (29), from Deir al-Balah, was hit with a live bullet to the chest in eastern al-Buraij refugee camp.
    Ahmed Ahmed Abullah Abu Na’im (17), from al-Nuseirat refugee camp, was hit with a live bullet to the chest and incised wound to the left arm in eastern al-Buraij refugee camp.
    Abdullah Barham Suleiman al-Daghmah (25), from ‘Abasan al-Jadidah in Khan Younis, was hit with a live bullet that peneterated the right side of the abdomen and exited the left side in eastern al-Buraji refugeec amp.
    Tamer Iyad Mahmoud Abu ‘Armanah (21) from Rafah, was hit with a live bullet to the head in eastern Rafah.
    ‘Afifi Mahmoud ‘Ata al-‘Afifi (18), from Gaza City, was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen in eastern al-Sheja’eiyah neighborhood.
    Mohammed ‘Essam Mohammed ‘Abbas (20), from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood was hit with a live bullet to the head and succumbed to his wounds he sustained in the evening in eastern al-Sheja’eiyah neighborhood.

    Moreover, 224 civilians, including 42 children, 3 women, 3 journalists and a paramedic, were hit with live bullets and direct tear gas canisters. Sixteen of theose wounded sustained serious wounds in addition dozens suffering tear gas inhalation and seizures after tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the Israeli soldiers from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour

    • Updated: Israeli Soldiers Kill Seven Palestinians, Injure 252, In Gaza
      October 13, 2018 2:35 AM IMEMC News
      http://imemc.org/article/seven-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-protests-at-gaza-israel-border

      (...) He said that the soldiers have killed the following Palestinians Friday:

      Mohammad Issam Mohammad Abbas, 21, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza.
      Ahmad Ibrahim Zaki Taweel, 27, from the Nusseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza.
      Ahmad Ahmad ِAbdullah Abu Na’im, 17, from the Nusseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza.
      Mohammad Abdul-Hafith Yousef Ismael, 29, from the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.
      Afifi Mahmoud Ata Afifi, 18, from Gaza city.
      Abdullah Barham Suleiman ad-Daghma, 25, from Abasan al-Jadeeda in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip.
      Tamer Eyad Mahmoud Abu ‘Armana, 22, from Rafah, in southern Gaza Strip.

      It is worth mentioning that Abdullah has two bothers who were killed by the Israeli army; Suleiman was killed in 2005, while Bassam was killed in 2011. (...)


  • Palestinian protesters in Gaza: Don’t wound us – kill us -

    How many of the young people protesting at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives? Unfortunately, many

    Amira Hass
    Aug 13, 2018
    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-palestinian-protesters-in-gaza-don-t-wound-us-kill-us-1.6366805

    “A person who was shot in the leg and had his leg amputated weeps. Not because his leg is gone, but because the soldier didn’t kill him.”
    How many of the young people protesting Friday at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives?
    Many. Many more than is reported or than the Palestinians are prepared to or can admit publicly. 
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    “A person who was shot in the leg and had his leg amputated weeps. Not because his leg is gone, but because the soldier didn’t kill him,” said someone who came out of the Gaza Strip for a few days. He told of a 30-year-old man who went up to the fence a few times, was wounded a few times, until he got lucky and the soldier on the other side finally killed him. We’ll get to the women too, soon enough, but we’re treading carefully.
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    What is the ratio between the number of those seeking to continue protecting the principles of the Palestinian struggle – by protesting at  the border fence – and the number of those using the patriotic-nationalistic mantle to commit suicide, knowing that Islam prohibits “ordinary” suicide?
    >> Hamas is exploiting Netanyahu’s unwillingness to go to war | Analysis
    We don’t know. Israel doesn’t allow us to enter the Gaza Strip to ask these questions and seek answers. Phone calls are not enough, and so we depend on reports from people coming out – Palestinians and foreign journalists.
    >> No Fuel, No Gas: Israel Clamps Down on Gaza Over Airborne Firebombs
    Perhaps the protesters are motivated simultaneously by the two goals, and their distance from the fence shows the ratio between their desire to die and their fight for freedom? But many people who are very far from the fence come to see what’s going on, one foreign reporter said. That’s not a struggle, it’s a kind of pastime, because there’s nothing else to do and the sea is full of floating excrement. This journalist, who has known the Gaza Strip for more than 20 years, concludes: When everyone has to find ways to survive, there’s no room for thinking about the national struggle. 
    Many of them are young people who go to the fence to be wounded, thinking that Hamas will pay them, and then they can pay their debts at the grocery store or pay their rent for two months. It’s true: Hamas pays the injured a one-time payment of $200, I’m told. But only if the injury was serious.

    Someone who was slightly injured and went to a Hamas office to ask for money was turned away. Someone else was fortunate – his injury was worth compensation, then he went to the fence to be wounded again, and received compensation again. 
    But the wounded quickly discover what they did not take into consideration at first: Injuries have their own costs (beyond pain and disability). Surgery is covered. But medications are lacking, so their family goes deeper into debt to pay for them, or not. And then the flesh is infested with worms and it rots. And that’s not a metaphor.
    Some people deluded themselves that their family would receive large compensation if they were killed, or that payment for injury would come on a monthly basis. They still think it’s like the second intifada, when Saddam Hussein and Iran sent money for these purposes and the Palestinian Authority bore the burden. Those days are gone forever. 
    On Ramadan the young people went on the marches because a nourishing meal to break the fast was waiting for them, provided by Hamas. On other days they would receive a sandwich and a drink at the protest tents. Yet they are at risk even if they are not standing next to the fence, but rather are some distance away, near the tents, as attested to by a journalist who was standing near the tents last week when a bullet fired by one of our heroic soldiers flew right past his ear.
    Over the weekend, written proof emerged of the mixture of a death wish and commitment to the struggle. Abdallah al-Qatati, 20, was a volunteer paramedic who went every Friday to rescue unarmed people wounded by the strongest army in the region. Ten days ago he wrote a Facebook post, and people who shared it said it was his last: “As on every Friday, I go to the border, but this Friday is different. I’m going like any young revolutionary protecting his homeland and his land. We don’t care about the goals of the march or the goals of any organization in this march. What is important to us is our land and our dignity. And in short, we are fleeing unto death. In the hope that the second death will be more merciful than the first. And that’s the end of the story.” 
    In other words, life in Gaza is also death, of a different kind. On Friday, an Israeli soldier shot the medic al-Qatati and killed him.
    And now to the women protesters: Since they are few, this could seem like an accusation, or scorn, which will draw protests. But a Palestinian woman who spoke with women who go to the fence says she believes that few of them do it for national reasons, or that gradually the national reasons gave way to personal-economic reasons. Some of them went to be wounded and receive compensation. One went to be close to her son who was protesting. And many went to die – one whose husband refused to give her a divorce, another who was unmarried and felt that society considered her damaged goods, a third who was a victim of family violence and a fourth who couldn’t stand the poverty, the constant chasing after a shekel for milk and drops of water from the faucet. We are familiar with the phenomenon of women in the West Bank who committed suicide-by-soldier.  
    Poverty in Gaza has reached unimaginable, indescribable levels, even for people who are allowed to go in and see it. The despair growing there behind the iron wall that Israel has built is still seeking the lexicon with which it can be depicted.


  • Gaza : deux Palestiniens tués par des tirs israéliens, mais la trêve semble tenir
    AFP / (10 août 2018 21h22
    https://www.romandie.com/news/ZOOM-Gaza-deux-Palestiniens-tu-s-par-des-tirs-isra-liens-mais-la-tr-ve-semble-tenir/944436.rom

    Deux Palestiniens ont été tués vendredi dans la bande de Gaza par des tirs de soldats israéliens lors de manifestations et de heurts le long de la barrière de séparation, sans que la trêve fragile instaurée entre le Hamas et Israël paraisse remise en cause.

    Les protestations du vendredi étaient considérées comme un test des intentions du mouvement islamiste Hamas et de ses alliés dans l’enclave palestinienne sous blocus, après un sévère accès de fièvre jeudi.

    Environ 2.000 Palestiniens ont manifesté et brûlé des pneus à l’est de la ville de Gaza, a constaté un journaliste de l’AFP.

    Avec d’autres rassemblements ailleurs le long de la barrière israélienne, quelques milliers de personnes en tout se sont déplacées, loin des mobilisations antérieures qui ont pu réunir des dizaines de milliers de Gazaouis.

    Un secouriste de 21 ans, Abdallah al-Qatati , a succombé après avoir été atteint à la poitrine à l’est de Rafah (sud de la bande de Gaza). Il s’agit du 2e secouriste au moins à avoir été tué par les tirs israéliens depuis le 30 mars. Un autre Palestinien Ali Al-Aloul, 55 ans, a également été tué vendredi par l’armée israélienne.

    Par ailleurs, 307 Palestiniens ont été blessés -certains par des gaz lacrymogènes-, dont deux journalistes et cinq secouristes, a indiqué le ministère local de la Santé. Au moins 131 d’entre eux ont été blessés par balles.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour (20ème semaine)

    • Israeli Forces Escalate their Crimes in Gaza Strip and Target Participants in Return and Breaking Siege March, Two Palestinian Civilians Killed, Including Paramedic, and 143 Others Wounded, Including 22 Children, 3 Women, 4 Paramedics, and 2 Journalists
      August 10, 2018 Date: 10 August 2018 Time: 06:30 GMT
      https://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=11225

      (...) The incidents today, 10 August 2018, were as follows:

      At approximately 16:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to 5 encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege along the border fence, east of the Gaza Strip’s governorates. They raised flags, and chanted slogans and national songs in addition to flying kites and firing balloons, while hundreds of them, including children and women, approached the border fence, set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces. The participants were present around 300 meters away from the main border fence.

      According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli tanks stationed in front of the demonstrators and heavily opened fire at them and their surroundings in an attempt to disperse them. The Israeli tanks also fired sound and smoke bombs at the demonstrators for the first time. Moreover, the Israeli forces’ snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants present around 200 meters away from the border fence. The Israeli shooting resulted in the killing of 2 Palestinian civilians, including a paramedic, in eastern Rafah. The abovementioned civilians were wounded at approximately 18:15, while they were around 50-100 meters away from the border fence when an Israeli tank heavily opened fire at the demonstrators, east of the city. In less than an hour of their injury, medical sources at the European Hospital declared their death. Those civilians killed were identified as:

      ‘Abdullah Sabri ‘Atiyiah al-Qitati ( 22), a volunteer paramedic in pulse of life youth team, from Rafah. ‘Abdullah was hit with a live bullet that entered and exited his back.
      Ali Sa’ied ‘Ali al-‘Aloul (55), from Rafah, who was hit with a live bullet that entered his chest from the right side and exited from the left side.

      The Israeli shooting which continued until 20:00 resulted in the wounding of 143 civilians, including 22 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics, and 2 journalists. Forty-four of those wounded sustained serious wounds. Among those wounded, 112 were hit with live bullets while the rest of them were hit with direct tear gas canisters. In addition, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures after tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the soldiers stationed along the border fence and by drones hovering over the protesters. (...)

    • Health Ministry Condemns Israeli Killing Of A Palestinian Medic
      August 11, 2018 2:03 AM
      http://imemc.org/article/health-ministry-condemns-israeli-killing-of-a-palestinian-medic

      Dr. Jawad Awwad, the Palestinian Health Minister, issued a statement denouncing the ongoing Israeli excessive use of force against Palestinian nonviolent protesters, and condemning the fatal shooting of a Palestinian medic.

      Dr. Awwad said the killing of medic volunteer Abdullah al-Qutati, 20 , east of Rafah, and the targeting of medics, journalists and unarmed civilians, are serious violations of International Law and all related resolutions and treaties.
      (...)
      The army also continued to target ambulances and medical teams, including attacks with live fire and gas bombs at make-shift clinics.


      Besides killing al-Qutati on Friday, the soldiers also killed Ali Sa’id al-‘Aloul, 55, and injured 307 Palestinians, including 85 who were shot with live fire.


  • Israeli army frames slain medic Razan al-Najjar as “Hamas human shield”
    Jonathan Ofir on June 7, 2018
    http://mondoweiss.net/2018/06/israeli-frames-najjar

    Just when you thought Israel couldn’t get any lower… The Israeli army has just released an incitement video, titled “Hamas’ use of human shields must stop”, in which it frames the slain medic Razan al-Najjar as a “Hamas human shield”– a day after it claimed she was killed by accident.

    This is more than adding insult to injury. This is adding malice to crime.

    The propaganda effort is based on twisting al-Najjar’s own words. I have consulted with three Arabic experts, who have looked at the original Arabic interview from which the IDF took the “human shield” text, and it is clear to them beyond a doubt that the IDF was knowingly and cynically manipulating Razan’s words to mean something other than what she said.

    Bear with me, this requires close analysis:

    First the video features Razan throwing away a gas grenade in the field. Obviously, this is one of the tear gas grenades fired by the Israeli army, which she is taking up and throwing to a safe distance. By this visual, the IDF is trying to create the impression that Razan is a kind of ‘combatant’.

    Then comes the short clip from an interview. The original interview has been found to be from Al Mayadeen News, a channel based in Beirut. The IDF video runs subtitles, saying: “I am Razan al-Najjar, I am here on the frontlines and I act as a human shield…”

    That’s all the IDF needs. Now, with the ominous music in the background, the IDF text states:

    “Hamas uses paramedics as human shields”.

    But the IDF cut out a very significant part of the sentence. Razan actually says:

    “I the Paramedic Razan al-Najjar, I am here on the Front Line acting as a human shield of safety to protect the injured at the Front Line. No one encouraged me on being a Paramedic, I encouraged myself. I wanted to take chances and help people…” (my emphasis).(...)

    #Propagande #sansvergogne
    #Razan_al-Najjar


  • Anonymous snipers and a lethal verdict

    We may never know the name of the soldier who killed Razan al-Najjar. But we do know the names of those who gave the order enabling him to kill her

    Amira Hass Jun 05, 2018

    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-anonymous-snipers-and-a-lethal-verdict-1.6151967

    We know her name: Razan al-Najjar. But what’s his? What’s the name of the soldier who killed her, with direct fire to the chest last Friday? We don’t know, and we probably won’t ever know.
    In contrast to the Palestinians suspected of killing Israelis, the Israeli who killed Najjar is protected from exposure to the cameras and an in-depth breakdown of his family history, including his relatives’ participation in routine attacks on Palestinians as part of their military service or their political affiliation.
    Demanding Israeli microphones will not be pushed into his face with probing questions: Didn’t you see she was wearing a paramedic’s white robe when you aimed at her chest?
    Didn’t you see her hair covered with a head scarf? Do your rules of engagement require you to shoot at paramedics, men and women as well, and at a distance of about 100 meters (some 330 feet) from the border fence? Did you shoot at her legs (why?) and miss because you’re useless? Are you sorry? Do you sleep well at night? Did you tell your girlfriend it was you who killed a young woman the same age as her? Was Najjar your first?
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    The anonymity of our soldiers picking off and killing Palestinians is an inseparable part of the culture of Israeli impunity. We are above it all. Immune from everything. Allowing an anonymous soldier to kill a young paramedic with a bullet that hit her in the chest, exiting from her back, and continuing on with our lives.
    >> ’We die anyway, so let it be in front of the cameras’: Conversations with Gazans
    There are lots of pictures of Najjar on the internet: She stood out as one of the few women among the first aid teams operating at the “March of Return” protest sites since March 30.
    After two years’ training, she volunteered for the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. She happily gave interviews, including to The New York Times’ correspondent in Gaza, speaking about the ability of women to act under difficult conditions no less so than men – and even better than them. She knew how dangerous her job was. A paramedic was killed by Israel Defense Forces fire on May 14, dozens of others were injured and suffocated as they ran to rescue the wounded.
    Najjar, 21 at the time of her death, was from the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis. In interviews, she was not asked about the wars and Israeli military attacks during her childhood and later. It is hard to find their scars in her pleasant face seen on screen. In every interview, she is seen wrapped in a head scarf of a different color – and each time it is wrapped around her head stylishly, meticulously, showing an investment of time and thought. The color reveals a love for life, despite all she had gone through.
    We do not know the name of the soldier, but we do know who is in the chain of command that ordered and enabled him to kill a 21-year-old paramedic: Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, both of whom approved the wording of the rules of engagement, as the High Court justices were told before they denied petitions against the shooting at protesters along the border fence.
    Despite all the testimony about civilian fatalities and horrifying injuries, the justices chose to believe what they were told in the name of the military by Avi Milikovsky, a lawyer from the State Prosecutor’s Office: The use of potentially lethal force is taken only as a last resort, in a proportionate manner and to the minimal extent required.
    Please explain how this tallies with the death of Najjar, who was treating a man injured directly by a tear-gas canister. An eyewitness told The New York Times that while the injured man was being taken to an ambulance, her colleagues were treating her because she was suffering the effects of the tear gas. Then shots were heard and Najjar fell.
    High Court Justices Esther Hayut, Hanan Melcer and Neal Hendel presented the army with an exemption from investigation and an exemption from criticism on a silver platter. In doing so, they joined the chain of command that ordered our anonymous soldier to fire at the chest of the paramedic and kill her.


  • Anonymous #Snipers and a Lethal Verdict
    https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-anonymous-snipers-and-a-lethal-verdict-1.6151967

    We do not know the name of the soldier, but we do know who is in the chain of command that ordered and enabled him to kill a 21-year-old paramedic: Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, both of whom approved the wording of the rules of engagement, as the High Court justices were told before they denied petitions against the shooting at protesters along the border fence.

    Despite all the testimony about civilian fatalities and horrifying injuries, the justices chose to believe what they were told in the name of the military by Avi Milikovsky, a lawyer from the State Prosecutor’s Office: The use of potentially lethal force is taken only as a last resort, in a proportionate manner and to the minimal extent required.

    Please explain how this tallies with the death of Najjar, who was treating a man injured directly by a tear-gas canister. An eyewitness told The New York Times that while the injured man was being taken to an ambulance, her colleagues were treating her because she was suffering the effects of the tear gas. Then shots were heard and Najjar fell.

    High Court Justices Esther Hayut, Hanan Melcer and Neal Hendel presented the army with an exemption from investigation and an exemption from criticism on a silver platter. In doing so, they joined the chain of command that ordered our anonymous soldier to fire at the chest of the paramedic and kill her.

    #Israel #crimes#villa_dans_la_jungle#assassins #meurtres #impunité#nos_valeurs


  • Lebanon News, Breaking News - Israeli army kills Palestinian nurse in Gaza border protest - medics
    Jun 01 2018 - 20:47
    https://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/regional/382278/israeli-army-kills-palestinian-nurse-in-gaza-borde/en

    Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border, according to health officials and a witness, while Israel said militants had attacked its troops with gunfire and a grenade.

    Razan Al-Najar ’s death brought to 119 the number of Palestinians killed in weekly demonstrations launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas and long subject to grinding Israeli and Egyptian embargoes.

    Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer medic, was shot as she ran toward the fortified border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty, a witness said.

    Wearing a white uniform, “she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired and she was hit in the chest,” the witness, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour
    #Razan_al-Najjar

    • Gaza. Une Palestinienne de 21 ans tuée par un tir de l’armée israélienne
      Publié le 01/06/2018 à 20h22
      https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/gaza/gaza-une-palestinienne-de-21-ans-tuee-par-un-tir-de-l-armee-israelienne

      Une Palestinienne a été tuée par balle, vendredi 1er juin, par des soldats israéliens lors d’affrontements près de la frontière entre la bande de Gaza et Israël, a indiqué un responsable des services de santé de l’enclave.

      Ce décès porte à 123 le nombre de Palestiniens tués par des soldats israéliens depuis le début d’un mouvement de protestation à Gaza le 30 mars, a indiqué Achraf al-Qodra, le porte-parole du ministère gazaoui de la Santé.

      Razan al-Najjar , 21 ans, a été touchée à la poitrine à l’est de Khan Younès, dans le sud de la bande de Gaza.

      Elle travaillait, selon le porte-parole, comme bénévole pour le ministère et portait un uniforme blanc de personnel de santé.

    • Updated: Army Kills A Medic, Injures 100 Palestinians, Including 40 With Live Fire, In Gaza
      June 2, 2018 4:20 AM
      http://imemc.org/article/army-kills-a-medic-injures-100-palestinians-including-40-with-live-fire-in-ga

      (...) Razan was killed when an Israeli sniper shot her in the back, and the bullet went through her heart.

      Dr. Rasha Abdul-Rahman Qdeih said she was with Razan when they were trying to help wounded Palestinians, but five army jeeps came close to the fence, before two soldiers left one of the vehicles and pointed their sniper scopes at them.

      “I shouted at my colleagues to take cover and remain alert,” she said, “The soldiers fired several rounds, and some minutes later, we managed to evacuate the wounded, before the soldiers started firing gas bombs.”

      “But then, the soldiers fired several exploding rounds at us; one of them struck Razan and killed her, and another bullet struck a medic, identified as Rami Abu Jazar, in his thigh, in addition to shrapnel in his left thigh, arm and leg, while another medic, Mahmoud Abdul-‘Aati, was injured by shrapnel,” Dr. Rasha added.

      It is worth mentioning that Razan is the second medic to be killed by Israeli army fire since March 30th, after the soldiers killed Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein, 36, who was shot on May 14th, while wearing a clearly marked medic vest.

      The soldiers also injured 223 medics, including 29 who were shot with live fire or after being directly targeted with high-velocity gas bombs.(...)

    • PCHR
      http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=10909

      Gaza Strip:
      Friday, 01 June 2018

      At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, hundreds of civilians, including women and children started swarming into the demonstration yard in the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip to participate in the tenth Friday upon a call by the Supreme National Authority for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege. At approximately 17:00, the numbers of civilians, reaching to thousands, as hundreds of them moved into the northeast of the camp, set fire to tires, chanted national slogans and raised flags. Some of them attempted to approach the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces stationed behind hills and sand barriers and in military vehicles along the border fence sporadically opened fire at the protesters and fired tear gas canisters at them and the camp’s yard. The shooting sporadically continued for until approximately 19:45 on the same day resulted in the killing of Razan Ashraf al-Najjar (21), a volunteer paramedic from Khuza’ah in eastern Khan Younis working for the Medical Relief Society after being shot with a bullet that entered her chest and exited her back. at approximately 18:30. She was wounded along with 2 of her colleagues identified as Rami Nahru Mohammed Abu Jazar (29), who was wounded with a bullet to the left leg and shrapnel to the right leg and left hand, and Mahmoud Fathi ‘Abdel ‘Aati (38) who was wounded with shrapnel to the left leg when they all were 100 meters away from the border fence, northwest of the Return camp in eastern Khuza’ah, helping 2 persons wounded. Doctors declared death of Razan at approximately 19:00 after her arrival at the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis, noting that Razan had been present since the first day of the Return camp opening and worked as a volunteer almost daily evacuating and helping dozens of civilians wounded. Moreover, 38 civilians, including 2 children and 5 paramedics, were wounded. Four of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and 32 were directly hit with tear gas canisters.


  • Meet Tarek Loubani, the Canadian Doctor Shot by Israeli Forces Monday While Treating Gaza’s Wounded | Democracy Now!
    https://www.democracynow.org/2018/5/17/meet_tarek_loubani_the_canadian_doctor

    DR. TAREK LOUBANI: Thank you for having me, Amy. Basically, on Monday, I was doing what I’ve been trained to do for years. I’ve been a field medic for quite a while. I’m an emergency physician with specialization in trauma. I do trauma work in London, Ontario, in Canada, where I spend most of the year. And I also do lots of trauma work here. I know where to be. I’ve been around gunfire an awful lot. I’ve been at massacres, as well, such as in Egypt previously and a few other places. And, I tell you, I was in fact the least experienced person on the team when it came to gunshots. The paramedics were even more experienced than I was, unfortunately.

    We were away from the protest area, about 25 meters west, 25 meters south of the protesters. It was calm. Everybody was sort of loitering. There were no tires on fire. There was no chaos. It was a very controlled scene. We knew where we were. We could see the sniper posts. For sure, they could see us. And I was just sort of talking to the medical team. We were testing out some medical devices that we’ve been trying to make in Gaza because of a shortage. And we had resupplied, because we ran out. It was very early in the day, and yet we had run out of our entire supply, so we resupplied. That’s when, unfortunately, I heard a loud bang, found myself on the ground and realized I had been shot.

    • AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Loubani, what happened to the paramedic who treated you, the one who asked if you wanted a tourniquet put on your legs?

      DR. TAREK LOUBANI: Musa Abuhassanin was a great guy. I’m talking about him in the past tense because about an hour after he rescued me, he ended up going back to the field on a call, and, unfortunately, he was shot in the chest. There was so much fire around him and so much live ammunition that his colleagues couldn’t get to him and couldn’t treat him. And when they finally did get to him, it was about 20 minutes later. The problem he had, it’s called a pneumothorax, basically air where it shouldn’t be in the chest. And it shouldn’t have killed him. I knew how to fix it. If I were there, I could have fixed it with literally a BIC pen. But, unfortunately, he couldn’t receive the treatment he needed, and he died.


  • This Is What A Forced Deportation Sounds Like When It Goes Wrong
    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/forced-deportation_uk_5abcd2bae4b04a59a314f04e

    Abdul: No man, no man, please. You’re breaking my hand, you’re breaking my hand. You broke my hand man, you broke my hand. Stop it man, I don’t wanna go, I gotta daughter in this country. I need to go to hospital next week, please stop it man. Please, this is not human rights man.

    Abdul was forcibly restrained and repeatedly screamed in pain, saying his hand had been broken. A paramedic was present but he spent most of the time reassuring other passengers that everything was OK.

    Abdul: Don’t do this to me man. You’re breaking my hand man, why you breaking my hand? Why are you treating me like this man? Please no, no. Stop it man, stop this man, hey stop this. Stop this please. Stop twisting my hand man. Stop it please.

    Immigration official: You’re too dangerous, I can’t let you off. I can’t let you of the flight.

    Abdul: Please no, please no, please no, no man, no man I got a daughter in this country man.

    After a short period, the officials realised Abdul was not going to calm down and they began to discuss removing him from the plane, which by this point was already delayed.

    Abdul: No. No. No.

    Immigration official: Come on man, come on.

    Abdul: No. No. No.

    Immigration official: Right, shut the fuck up. We’re getting off, we’re getting off now. Listen to me, we can’t get off this plane unless you calm down.

    Abdul: I’m gonna kill myself.

    Immigration official: Shut the fuck up for once and listen to me for once.

    Abdul: Don’t treat me like this.

    Immigration official: Listen, I’m having a battle in there to get you off. I’m saying to my guys, we can’t get you off when you’re shouting and you keep shouting. You’re delaying this plane. All you had to do was shut up, listen to what I was saying and you’d be off sitting in the van laughing your head off, again. So what you gonna do? What you gonna do fella?

    Abdul: I’m gonna walk out.

    Immigration official: The ball is in your court. The gloves are off now.

    Immigration officer: You’re thrashing around, that’s why that’s hurting. You just tried head-butting one of our colleagues. We’ve done nothing but help today and you’ve done nothing but ignore us and complain [inaudible] you might actually get the help that you need. But the whole time that you just argue, argue, argue, you’re not going to get the help that you need.

    *

    After a period of around 20 minutes, Abdul was removed from the plane. It’s not known what the reasons for Abdul’s deportation were, or what has happened to him since.


  • Palestinian woman shot, killed after alleged attempted stabbing in East Jerusalem
    March 29, 2017 4:20 P.M. (Updated: March 29, 2017 7:51 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776187

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon after she allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack, Israeli police said.

    Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri initially said in a statement that the woman attempted to stab police officers at the Old City’s Damascus Gate, only to be “neutralized” by the Israeli forces — a term commonly used by Israeli officials to indicate that an alleged attacker has either been wounded or killed.

    Moments later, the spokeswoman confirmed that the Palestinian woman had been killed. Al-Samri added that no Israeli officers had been injured in the altercation.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinian woman as 49-year-old Siham Ratib Nimr , from East Jerusalem. Al-Samri specified that Nimr was from the northern East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Khamis, which is cut off from the rest of the city by Israel’s illegal separation wall.

    Witness told Ma’an that the Nimr was walking with her daughter in the entrance to Damascus Gate, and that an altercation occurred once they came close to Israeli police officers.

    The witnesses said that an Israeli border police officer shot Nimr at point-blank range in the chest and lower extremities, and that Israeli police forcibly prevented an Israeli paramedic from approaching the woman, “leaving her to bleed to death.”

    The eyewitnesses added that Israeli forces then completely sealed off the area, preventing Palestinians from using the entrance to the Old City.

    Israeli forces reportedly also assaulted young Palestinian men who were in the area.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Jérusalem : une Palestinienne auteur d’une tentative d’attaque aux ciseaux tuée (police)
      AFP / 29 mars 2017 17h48
      https://www.romandie.com/news/Jerusalem-une-Palestinienne-auteur-dune-tentative-dattaque-aux-ciseaux-tuee-/784304.rom

      Le corps d’une assaillante palestinienne est évacué, le 29 mars 2017 devant la porte de Damas, à l’entrée de la vieille ville de Jérusalem-Est / © AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA
      Jérusalem - Une Palestinienne, qui avait tenté d’attaquer mercredi des policiers israéliens avec une paire de ciseaux, a été tuée par balles à une entrée de la vieille ville de Jérusalem-Est, selon une nouvelle version de la police.

      Dans un premier temps, une porte-parole de la police avait affirmé que cette Palestinienne avait brandi un couteau.

      Selon la police, cette femme, qui sortait de la vieille ville de Jérusalem par la porte de Damas, s’est approchée de policiers et a sorti une paire de ciseaux. Les policiers ont alors ouvert le feu dans sa direction, a ajouté la porte-parole.

      Aucun policier n’a été blessé, selon elle.

      Selon le ministère palestinien de la Santé, la Palestinienne tuée s’appelait Siham Nimr . Agée de 49 ans, elle était résidente du camp de réfugiés de Shouafat à Jérusalem-Est, occupée et annexée.

      Des médias palestiniens ont précisé qu’elle était la mère de Mustafa Nimr, un Palestinien de 27 ans tué par la police israélienne en septembre dernier à Shouafat.

      Dans un premier temps, la police l’avait présenté comme l’auteur d’une agression avant de reconnaître qu’il s’agissait d’une erreur.

    • Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (23 – 29 March 2017)
      March 30, 2017
      http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8965

      (...) In a new crime of wilful killings, on 29 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian identified as Siham Rateb Nemer (49) after opening fire at her when she was entering the Damascus Gate (Bab al-‘Amoud) in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces claimed as usual that the abovementioned woman attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. However, PCHR’s investigations refuted those claims. It should be mentioned that Siham is the mother of Mustafa Nemer, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on 05 September 2016 when he was driving a car along with his relative on ‘Anata Street in Sho’afat refugee camp, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. As a result, he was killed and his relative was wounded.(...)

    • B’Tselem: Killing of Palestinian woman in Jerusalem ’unjustified’
      April 4, 2017 6:43 P.M. (Updated: April 4, 2017 6:53 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776267

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem released a report on Tuesday, condemning Israeli forces for the “unjustified” killing of a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem last week.

      Israeli police said at the time that 49-year-old Siham Nimr attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Damascus Gate entrance to occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, only to be “neutralized” by the Israeli border police — a term commonly used by Israeli officials to indicate that an alleged attacker has either been wounded or killed. No Israeli officers were injured in the altercation.

      It was later revealed that the slain woman was the mother of 27-year-old Mustafa Nimr, who was killed by Israeli forces in September during a night raid in occupied East Jerusalem’s Shufat refugee camp.

      According to B’Tselem, after Siham approached a metal police barrier near Damascus Gate, brandishing a pair of scissors, border police officers standing on the other side of the barrier shot and killed her. Included in their report was a picture from a security camera in the area, released by Israeli police, purporting to show Siham holding up the scissors while standing behind the police barrier.(...)

    • Palestinian woman killed by Israeli forces in March is laid to rest in Anata
      April 27, 2017 2:02 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2017 2:36 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776702

      JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of Palestinians took part on Wednesday night in the funeral of Siham Ratib Nimr, a Palestinian woman who was killed by Israeli forces last month after attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

      Nimr, a 49-year-old resident of the northern East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Khamis, was killed by Israeli police on March 29 after she attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Old City’s Damascus Gate. No Israelis were injured in the case.

      Nimr was the mother of Mustafa Nimr, a 27-year-old Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces “by mistake” in September during a night raid in the Jerusalem-area Shufaat refugee camp.

      Palestinian Red Crescent staff said that they received Nimr’s body at a military base near the village of Anata in the Jerusalem district of the occupied West Bank, before taking her remains to Shufaat refugee camp, her hometown.


  • Unarmed Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces at military post near Ramallah
    Aug. 26, 2016 1:06 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 26, 2016 6:17 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=772867

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A reportedly unarmed Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces at a military post near the illegal Israeli Ofra settlement at the western entrance to the town of Silwad in northeastern Ramallah on Friday, contradicting earlier reports by Israeli media that he had opened fire at soldiers.

    An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed at a military post in Silwad identified a suspect on foot running toward them.

    The Israeli soldiers “shot towards the suspect, resulting in his death,” the spokesperson said.

    No injuries among Israeli soldiers were reported by the army.

    Medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent who had arrived at the scene were reportedly prevented from accessing the site by Israeli forces.

    Initial reports from Hebrew media, however, said the suspect had opened fire from inside a vehicle, and that a woman might have been inside the car with him.

    According to reports, witnesses said that he was shot and critically injured while inside his vehicle, and was later pronounced dead.

    When asked about the conflicting reports, and whether or not the suspect had been armed, the Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the details of the incident were still being checked.

    The suspect was later identified by local sources in the Ramallah area as 38-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed . He was married and a father of three.

    Israeli news site Ynet quoted an anonymous Palestinian official as saying that Hamed suffered from mental illness and was not found to have any weapons on his person when searched, and no signs of gunfire were found on the guard post.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israel investigating claim unarmed Palestinian was shot in the back
      Aug. 28, 2016 11:47 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2016 1:53 P.M.)
      https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772882

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army’s military police have reportedly opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

      Thirty-eight-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed, a resident of the Ramallah area village of Silwad, was shot dead by Israeli forces near a military post at the village’s entrance not far from the illegal Israeli settlement Ofra, when soldiers alleged that they saw Hamed “charging” towards them.

      Israeli media initially reported that Hamed, a husband and father of three, fired shots at the Israeli soldiers, though it was later confirmed that he was unarmed.

      According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, any death of a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank who was “not involved in actual fighting” warrants an Israeli military police investigation, and that the investigation into Hamed’s killing will look into the activity of the soldiers responsible — who were members of the “ultra-orthodox” Kifr Brigade — before they opened fire, and why they fired deadly shots at Hamed when “danger was not immediately clear.”

      In addition, the investigation will look into the claim from Palestinian medical officials that Hamed was shot in the back. The officials also reportedly said that Hamed had mental disabilities and had been receiving psychiatric treatment.

      The Israeli army has maintained however, that Hamed was running toward the military post when the soldiers opened fire.

    • Israel: Where the media will blindly buy what the ruling authorities dictate
      By Gideon Levy | Aug. 27, 2016 | 11:56 PM
      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.738936
      A thousand reports are published about every West Bank settler who is murdered, yet Friday’s killing of an innocent man evoked one big yawn. It’s not terror, or apartheid, or racism or dehumanization. It’s only killing a subhuman.

      It was late in the morning. In Israel people were completing their preparations for Shabbat. The military reporters bought challahs, the soldiers left their bases for the weekend. At the Yabrud checkpoint in the West Bank their colleagues saw a man. Actually, they didn’t see a man. They saw a subhuman. They shot him as they were taught. The military reporters reported also as taught: “A terrorist fired a weapon at a pillbox post in Ofra. Nobody was hurt. The force fired back and the terrorist was killed.”

      Routine. There is no contradiction between “nobody was hurt” and “the terrorist was killed.” Only Jews can be hurt. An update followed: “The Kfir squad commander, who saw the terrorist throw a firebomb at an IDF pillbox in Silwad, shot and killed him. Nobody was hurt.” Now the shooting had turned into “a firebomb.” A short time later, it was reported: “Apparently, he was mentally unstable. A search on his body resulted with no findings.” In other words, murder.

      This is what Channel 10 reporter Or Heller tweeted on Friday, as did some of his colleagues, including Alon Ben-David. Heller is far from the worst of the military reporters, who recite automatically whatever the army spokesman dictates to them without attributing the quote to the spokesman, and consider themselves journalists.

      There is no other coverage area in which journalists can act like that. They buy blindly, fervidly, what the ruling authorities dictate to them. The lies about what happened on Friday at the Yabrud checkpoint were spread by the IDF, of course. Afterward the IDF corrected itself, and only after that did the reporters follow suit and report: “the Palestinian didn’t try to attack the soldiers.” Good evening and Shabbat Shalom.

      It was late in the morning. Iyad Hamed, of Silwad, was on his way to Friday prayers in the mosque. Years ago he hurt his head in a traffic accident and since then had been mentally unstable. He was 38, a father of three, including a baby. A witness who testified to B’Tselem Saturday, Iyad Hadad, said Hamed had lost his way, panicked when he saw the soldiers at the checkpoint and ran. He ran for his life. He wasn’t armed, he endangered no one.

      Paramedic Yihia Mubarak believes he was shot in the back as he ran. He saw an entry wound in the victim’s back and an exit wound in his chest. Hamed died on the spot. Shortly afterward his body was returned. Israel’s lust for bodies was satiated this time, after it transpired that Hamed had been killed although he had done nothing wrong.

      A dead Arab. Oh well. We’ve moved onto other, more interesting and important matters. When a single Qassam rocket from Gaza lands, without hurting anyone or causing any damage, Israel launches a revenge campaign of bombardments and shelling, sowing devastation and horror. It’s allowed to do anything. The disappointed military reporters provoke the defense minister, asking, “why only real estate?” And what about Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, whom Avigdor Lieberman had promised to assassinate?

      Israel is allowed to do anything. Are the Palestinians allowed to take revenge for the killing of their friend? What a ludicrous question. Are they allowed to try to “deter” IDF soldiers, as Israel does with Hamas, so that they don’t kill innocent passersby again? Another ludicrous question. Will anyone be punished for this killing? An even more ludicrous question.

      If an Israeli dog had been killed by a Palestinian assailant, Israel would have been much more shocked than by Hamed’s killing. A thousand reports are published about every West Bank settler who is murdered, yet Friday’s killing of an innocent man evoked one big yawn. It’s not terror, or apartheid, or racism or dehumanization. It’s only killing a subhuman.

      I was in Silwad about nine months ago, after Border Policemen killed Mahdia Hamed, a 40-year-old mother of four. The Border Policemen claimed she had tried to run them over with her car, but eyewitnesses testified she had been driving slowly. At home, her 10-month-old infant was waiting to be breast-fed.

      They shot her several times and the bullets pierced and ran through her body. Nobody was put on trial. The widower, Adiv Hamed, asked me then, in his naivety: “Do the Israelis know what happened? Was there a public debate in Israel after she was killed?”

      I was silent with shame.

    • A mentally disabled Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops for behaving strangely
      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.739750
      ’Let’s say Iyad was behaving strangely. Why kill him?’ his brother ponders. ’When they grow up, Iyad’s children are liable to hate Israel, and with good reason. You killed their father.’
      By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac | Sep. 2, 2016 | 4:39 PM | 5

      The man who was shot to death last Friday by a soldier from the Kfir Brigade’s ultra-Orthodox Netzach Yehuda Battalion was 38 and the father of two small children, a son and a daughter, who were this week scurrying around the living room of their house, in a state of bewilderment, she in a purple skirt, he in shorts. Their father, Iyad Hamed, had a congenital mental disability: Introverted and taciturn, he was prone to stare at the ground as he walked. He enjoyed communing with nature and picking figs and almonds. Still, there was structure in his life: He had a wife and children, and worked in construction in a simple job. “He wasn’t the sharpest of people,” his brothers say.

      Footage from the security camera of the grocery store in Silwad, a village near Ramallah, shows his last minutes. Hamed, in a light-colored shirt, is seen buying snacks for his children and paying. A few moments later, he sets out for a mosque for the Friday prayers, never to return. Nothing in the footage hints at what is about to happen: A father buys treats for his children in the final hour of his life.

      Most of Hamed’s family is in America, as are many of the natives of this well-to-do village. Ten years ago, his six brothers moved to Ohio – to Columbus and Cleveland – where they work in real estate. Iyad, the eldest, remained in Silwad, as did his sister. He started a family, but recently decided to emigrate, as well; one of his brothers said he’d submitted a petition to the authorities to that end.

      He lived on the ground floor of the family’s stone house. The building is handsome, though less splendid than other mansion-type dwellings in this elegant neighborhood on a hill. The second floor is used by the brothers and their families during their annual vacations here. This summer they visited twice: once on holiday and then not long afterward – to mourn and grieve for their dead brother.

      Their parents divide their time between America and Silwad, some of whose privately owned land was taken to build the settlement of Ofra. Many residents of this well-to-do village have moved in recent years to the United States.

      Last December, Border Police shot and killed another Silwad resident, Mahdia Hammad, a 40-year-old mother of four, claiming that she was trying to run them over. Now the army has killed Iyad Hamed without any apparent reason: He wasn’t armed and didn’t pose a threat to anyone.

      The Israel Defense Forces itself admits that.

      The killing took place at the edge of the village, not far from Highway 60, a former venue for demonstrations and stone throwing. The demonstrations ceased in the past month, under pressure from locals, who are tired of the tear gas and the upheaval. Five Silwad residents were killed in the past year by Israeli troops.

      We are standing next to a mound of stones where Hamed collapsed, bleeding, last Friday. He’d come this far, after dropping off the snacks for the kids at home, on his way to a mosque in the neighboring village of Yabrud, where he prayed on Fridays. He preferred it to the mosques in Silwad.

      On the way, he stopped at the Silwad gas station to say hello to his friend Rashad, who works there. The gas station’s security camera caught him again. He then went on his way to Yabrud, which is located on the other side of Highway 60. He could have used the passage beneath the road but opted for the shorter route, which passes next to a towering, armored IDF pillbox.

      It was about 11:40 A.M. On the other side of the road, Abdel Hamid Yusuf, a solidly built young man of 26, was driving his sewage tanker to the site where he empties it. An eyewitness to the events, he is now standing with us at the place where Hamed was killed, along with Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

      Hamed was behaving oddly, recalls Yusuf, who knew him well and was aware of his condition. Hamed seemed to have lost his way and also his senses; he ran back and forth below the army tower. Yusuf says he saw no soldiers while Hamed was running about between it and the surrounding barbed-wire fences. Hamed looked frightened. He had wanted to cut across the highway to the mosque, but couldn’t find his way out. He was like a caged animal; the barbed-wire fences were impassable. “It’s dangerous there, get out!” Yusuf shouted to him from across the road. Hamed didn’t respond – maybe he didn’t hear Yusuf.

      It’s crucial to note that Hamed was not holding anything in his hands. That is confirmed by Yusuf and by what the footage from the gas station’s camera shows: an unarmed civilian in a light-colored shirt, who apparently got confused and lost his way.

      Suddenly a few shots rang out. Hamed started to run frantically back toward the village. It’s not clear where the shots came from, but immediately afterward Yusuf saw a few soldiers emerge from the vegetation at the foot of the tower. Hamed kept running. More shots were fired at him, apparently by the soldiers, who had been in ambush. He was hit and fell to the ground. One bullet entered his back and exited through his chest, paramedic Yahya Mubarak, who took possession of the body, would report afterward.

      A., who lives in apartment No. 9 in the nearby Hurriya Tower building in Silwad, went out to his balcony when he heard shooting. What he told the field researcher corroborated Yusuf’s account: Hamed ran for his life until he was felled.

      Four soldiers rolled Hamed’s body over with their feet. He probably died instantly, though that’s not certain. An Israeli ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later, but Yusuf says he couldn’t see whether Hamed received medical aid. More troops arrived in a silver-gray civilian car. The body lay on the ground for some time before being removed by soldiers. A few hours later, the body was returned to the family, after it became clear to the IDF – which is rarely in a hurry to give back bodies – that Hamed had done nothing wrong and was killed in vain.

      The cardboard packages that contained IDF-issue bullets are scattered on the ground where Hamed went down. An IDF officer approaches us from the direction of the tower, and four soldiers emerge out of nowhere from another direction. Minutes later, another group of soldiers comes up from the valley. Maybe one of them killed Hamed?

      The soldier who fired the shot that killed him was questioned this week by the Military Police on suspicion of causing death by negligence and then sent back to his unit. He wasn’t so much as suspended from his duties.

      In the house of mourning is the father, Zakariya, 58, dignified and wearing a stylized embroidered galabia. With him are two of his sons, Yahya, 34, from Columbus, and Ahmed, 31, from Cleveland. Hamed’s fatherless offspring, 9-year-old Zakariya and 3-year-old Lian, are with their mother, newly widowed Narmine.

      “Come on, we are human beings, we don’t get shot at like that,” Yahya says. “Come on, we have kids. The soldier took a human life. It made me want to throw up when I read the reports of what happened in [the newspaper] Yedioth Ahronoth.”

      When they were here a month ago, on vacation, the brothers brought new clothes for Iyad as gifts. Iyad hadn’t worn them yet; he was saving them for Id al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice. Now he will never wear them, “because some soldier decided to kill him.” The faces of the brothers are contorted in grief again.

      Yahya: “Let’s say Iyad was behaving strangely. Why kill him? Shoot him in the leg. Why kill him? You’re not God. In the first intifada, they shot at the legs. You could talk with the soldiers. Now you reach a hand toward your pocket, and they kill you. Do you know what a tragedy the soldier who killed my brother caused? How many families he destroyed?”

      The children cuddle up to their two uncles. Lian blows up a balloon and floats it in the room. She has lazy eye, and wears thick glasses. She’s scheduled to have an operation for the condition in a few weeks; her father will not be there to accompany her.

      Yahya, who reads the English-language edition of Haaretz in the United States on his phone, says, “The children know that a Jewish soldier killed their father,” he says. “When they grow up, they are liable to hate Israel, and with good reason. You killed their father.

      “We are not a political family,” he continues. “We have never been in prison, we have never thrown a stone. Neither had Iyad. But what love will these children have for Israel when they grow up? You want to live here? Fine. But don’t kill us. Let us live, too. You love life – so do we. Everyone will tell you what a pure soul Iyad was. He never hurt anyone. I’d like to know what [Chief of Staff] Gadi Eisenkot will have to say about this killing. And what the soldier who killed Iyad is feeling. I heard he’s religious. Does that mean he has earlocks?

      “When I accidentally run over a cat on the road, I feel bad for a long time afterward,” Yahya says. “What does the soldier who killed my brother feel now?”


  • When Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinians, Even a Smoking Gun Doesn’t Lead to Indictments
    Mustafa Tamimi was killed when he was shot in the face with a gas canister in a 2012 protest. A year later, Rushdi Tamimi was shot in the belly with live fire. No one ever faced charges. A closer look at the two cases reveals that putting soldiers to trial is the exception, not the rule.

    Chaim Levinson Jul 07, 2016 Haaretz
    : http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.729602- I

    An in-depth study of two incidents in which Palestinian protesters were shot and killed during demonstrations in the West Bank shows that the level of evidence required to indict an Israel Defense Forces soldier is substantially higher than that demanded when Palestinians are investigated.
    Furthermore, the heavy media coverage given to the prosecution of Sgt. Elor Azaria – the Israeli soldier standing trial for manslaughter after shooting a subdued Palestinian assailant in March – is extremely rare, even though his actions are not.
    Of the 739 complaints filed by the Israeli nonprofit B’Tselem concerning death, injury or beatings of Palestinians since 2000, only 25 resulted in prosecutions (less than 4 percent). And these charges were usually for the smallest possible violations, such as negligent use of a weapon.
    Haaretz has obtained access to the IDF’s correspondence with the human rights group (which represented the families) concerning two high-profile cases – the deaths of Mustafa Tamimi and Rushdi Tamimi (no relation) – which were closed without any indictments being filed. The relevant documents and correspondence are classic examples of the manner in which the military advocate general conducts investigations into Palestinian fatalities.
    Mustafa Tamimi’s death occurred in December 2011, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Following prayer services at the mosque, the local residents gathered in the village square, where their usual Friday ritual commenced. They attempted to march toward their farmland, which had been expropriated “for military purposes” and upon which the settlement of Neve Tzuf was established. The army deployed in order to prevent them from exiting the village. The two sides confronted each other. Initially there were songs, followed by curses, and then someone threw a stone at the soldiers. They responded with tear gas and the marchers dispersed. The stone throwers remained.
    For hours, the two sides played cat and mouse, one side throwing stones, the other firing tear gas. This is the norm in the village every Friday.
    However, things didn’t follow the usual script on December 9. Photos taken by Haim Schwartzenberg documented what happened at 14:26: An army jeep with soldiers from the Kfir Brigade inside was on a stone-strewn road outside the village. Two Palestinians wielding stones approached them, one with his face covered and the other wearing a gas mask. A stone was thrown and the back door of the jeep opened just a fraction. A tear-gas canister was fired from the jeep and hit the Palestinian wearing the gas mask in the head. The jeep moved away as the man fell to the ground, bleeding profusely.
    The wounded man was Mustafa, a 28-year-old from the village. Soon, many of the marchers gathered around him, photographing his smashed head from all angles. He was quickly put into a Palestinian taxi, which took him to a nearby checkpoint.
    “I opened the taxi door,” recounted a paramedic later, “and saw him unconscious, breathing with a rattle. The whole right side of his face under the eyes was ripped.”
    Tamimi was taken to Beilinson Hospital, Petah Tikva, where doctors commended the treatment provided by the female paramedic. However, he died the next morning. A slingshot was found in his pocket.
    Rushdi Tamimi’s death took place a year later, on November 17, 2012. The West Bank was seething as Operation Pillar of Defense raged in Gaza. There were incidents on the terraces lying between Nabi Saleh and the adjacent road, which links settlements in the Binyamin regional council and Israel’s center. A reserves’ military unit was summoned to protect the road.
    Video footage documented soldiers running toward Rushdi Tamimi, who was lying on the ground. The soldiers surrounded him and moved those present back. He was taken to hospital with a bullet in his stomach, but died two days later. A military inquiry found that a “mistake” had occurred, contravening the army’s values.
    For 90 minutes, the army had fired all the tear gas at its disposal, until it ran out. A medic was sent to get more, but in the meantime soldiers switched to using live ammunition, firing 80 bullets at demonstrators until the lethal one hit Rushdi Tamimi. In a highly exceptional move, the company commander was dismissed after the incident.


  • Palestinian dies of tear gas inhalation, 40 others wounded in clashes at Qalandiya
    July 1, 2016 1:48 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2016 5:50 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772079

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was pronounced dead on Friday after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces heavily fired tear gas at crowds, reportedly wounding some 40 others, as Palestinians attempted to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank into Jerusalem to attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    The man, identified by medical sources as Muhammad Mustafa Habash, 63, from the Asira al-Shamaliya village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, was one of at least 40 Palestinians who suffered from severe tear gas inhalation during clashes that broke out at the Qalandiya checkpoint.

    Witnesses told Ma’an that Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were prevented by Israeli forces from treating the man at the start of the incident. However, they eventually were able to reach him.

    A paramedic gave the man CPR before he was transported to the Ramallah Governmental Hospital for treatment and put in intensive care.

    The Ministry of Health later pronounced the man dead.

    #Palestine_assassinée


  • Lieberman Is Right About the Hebron Shooting -

    Is this the first time a soldier has executed a Palestinian in cold blood, or did the fact that it was caught on film make the difference?
    Amira Hass Mar 28, 2016 1:54 AM
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.711150

    Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avidgor Lieberman is right when he says the “onslaught” directed at the Kfir Brigade solider who executed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in Hebron last Thursday after Sharif had already been subdued is hypocrisy. In other words, that the Israel Defense Forces spokesman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others who condemned the soldier’s action are hypocrites.

    It’s clear, after all, that it is only because a camera documented a soldier shooting a “neutralized” Palestinian in the head that the people at the top rushed to disassociate themselves from the act. “That’s not how the IDF operates,” they said, meaning that the IDF is usually not so negligent as to allow the actions of its soldiers to be filmed so we know that it indeed is how armed Israelis conduct themselves – executing Palestinians suspected of carrying out stabbings when they no longer pose a danger.

    Here are the contours of this hypocrisy:

    On September 25, 2015, soldiers in Hebron killed Hadeel al-Hashlamoun. She hadn’t stabbed anyone but had only gone through a checkpoint with a knife. Three bullets hit her lower body and seven her upper body while she was already lying “neutralized.” There was a foreign activist there who took still pictures that were sufficient to prove that Hashlamoun was not a threat to the soldiers. A storm of controversy ensued. An investigation was carried out and findings were released about a month after the beginning of the “stabbing wave.” The commanders found that the soldiers could have arrested Hashlamoun without killing her, but decided that they should not be punished. On November 4, I wrote: “Punishing them would have required punishing other soldiers who ‘felt that their lives were in danger’ and easily took a life.” 
I should have written “felt and will feel.”

    With the typical egoism of an occupier, the current violent escalation is marked by Israelis as beginning on October 1, when a husband and wife, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, were murdered near the settlement of Itamar. But for Palestinians and particularly the Hebronites among them, the starting point is the date on which Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was executed in cold blood. And there are also those who mark it beginning from July 31, when the members of the Dawabsheh family were murdered in the West Bank village of Duma.

    In an analysis on Friday in Haaretz, Amos Harel defines the shooting execution in cold blood and writes: “The ... soldier [a combat paramedic] shoots the prone terrorist in the head at very close range. No one standing around [soldiers and settlers] seemed particularly alarmed by what they had just seen.” There are several possible reasons for that: 1) That is the spirit of the IDF in their view; 2) They had already been present or participated in very similar incidents or knew that that’s what everyone does, only without a camera and 3) Despite remarks by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the army is not acting to instill the message among soldiers that killings should not happen when life is not endangered.

    Most of those who have carried out the approximately 105 incidents of stabbing, attempted stabbing or knife-wielding since October 3 have been killed by soldiers, policemen and security guards. In all the cases that were not filmed by Palestinians, did the soldiers, police and security guards really act appropriately and had no choice but to kill? In other words, that the hand of God has decided that only what runs counter to the spirit of the IDF is what will be filmed?

    Cameras actually did document the killing on October 29 of 24-year-old Mahdi al-Muhtaseb. He had fled from a soldier he stabbed, was apparently shot in the leg while on the other side of a checkpoint in Hebron and fell to the ground. While on the ground, a border policeman shot him several times until he stopped moving. Palestinians were shocked and alarmed, but the Israelis reacted as if it was the most normal conduct.

    A security official told Haaretz at the time that when Muhtaseb showed signs that he was going to get up, the border policeman shot again. “That is what is expected of a soldier, because who knows? Maybe the terrorist would blow himself up or take out a gun and shoot,” he said. Blow himself up? In the middle of a Palestinian neighborhood? But that’s precisely the line of defense being put forward by the family of the paramedic who executed Sharif in cold blood.

    A smartphone was used on October 4 to film the execution in cold blood of Fadi Alun from Jerusalem, a stabbing suspect who was already lying on the sidewalk after being shot. Palestinians were shocked and alarmed, but the Israelis reacted as if it was the most normal conduct.

    Imad Abu-Shamsiyeh of Hebron, a former volunteer with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, was the person who filmed the paramedic executing Sharif. He told Haaretz that the solider had demanded that he move away, but he went onto a roof and took the video footage. He is active in the Hebron-based group Human Rights Defenders, but knew nevertheless that he had to turn the video footage over to B’Tselem so the Israelis could not dismiss the filmed evidence as some kind of Palestinian nonsense.

    * On Thursday, senior officials expressed shock that army paramedics had not administered medical care to the injured Palestinian. But many reports from the scene of stabbings or knife-wieldings in recent months have contained repeated accounts of the army failing to care for injured Palestinians who lay bleeding until they died. IDF spokespersons dismissed the claims as a common Palestinian fabrication.

    One may conclude that the only time there was a failure to provide medical care to Palestinians is when B’Tselem has had filmed evidence. When B’Tselem does not have such evidence, the soldiers are the Righteous Among the Nations.


  • A Palestinian Mother of Four, Shot 17 Times for Being a Bad Driver -
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 02, 2016 4:24 AM
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.694876
    Mahdia Hammad was hurrying home to feed her baby. Border Policemen signaled her to stop, but she continued to drive, slowly. Then they sprayed her car with bullets.

    Here, next to the house’s fence, is where the car rolled to a stop after it had continued to move even though its driver was already dead. And here’s where the Border Policemen stood as they shot dozens of bullets into her car. It all happened on this normally quiet residential street at the edge of the town of Silwad, north of Ramallah. Only the shell casings still scattered along the side of the road and the fragments of the shattered windows of the Hyundai Lantra testify mutely to what happened here last Friday.

    This is where Israeli troops killed Mahdia Hammad, a 40-year-old mother of four, the youngest a child of 10 months. In Israel it was claimed that she tried to run over the Border Policemen, who were standing in the street. Her husband claims that she was an inexperienced driver who was hurrying home to feed their son and was apparently rattled by the sight of the Israeli force and lost her head. One way or the other, nothing can explain the rage and lust to kill that seized the troops. They sprayed her car and her body with bullets in a frenzy of shooting that continued even after she was dead.

    Together with Ashraf Idabis and Iyad Haddad – field-workers for the International Red Cross and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, respectively – we spent a few hours at the scene this week, taking testimonies from residents and passersby who witnessed the incident. The testimonies, which were given separately and were for the most part identical, raise two very disturbing questions: Why did Hammad keep driving after the police signaled her to stop? And why, since she was driving very slowly – about 20 kilometers an hour, according to all the eyewitnesses – without apparently intending to ram anyone, was she shot so many times, in what seems like an apoplexy of fury and craving to kill, including a “confirmation of kill” after the car had come to a stop. Is it possible that this woman, who hadn’t driven a car in over a year and was apparently rushing home to feed her baby, intended to perpetrate a ramming attack? Was killing her the only way to stop her?

    An acrid smell of tear gas was still hanging in the air in Silwad, even midweek. There are demonstrations here on Fridays, opposite Highway 60 and the settlement of Ofra, not far from where Hammad was killed. The street running perpendicular to the site is blocked by a mound of dirt and strewn with stones and the remains of scorched tires. Hammad did not take part in the demonstrations. She was a housewife and mother; her husband, Adib, works as an inspector for a construction company.

    December 25 started off as a routine day. The couple had breakfast together, after which Adib attended prayers in the mosque, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, Mahdia said she wanted to use the family car to visit her sister, Samira, who lives on the hill opposite Silwad, and bring her some firewood.

    According to Adib, his wife had a driver’s license but rarely used it and hadn’t driven for around a year, since the birth of their last child. Mahdia promised to be back quickly, before the baby woke from his sleep, in order to feed him.

    Now Adib is tormenting himself for having given her the car. He’s been left to take care of the children, along with their grandmother. Samira said afterward that her sister had been in such a hurry to get home that she didn’t even stay for coffee.

    At 4:20 P.M., Adib heard the sound of distant gunfire. Suddenly filled with foreboding, he rushed out to the street. He phoned his wife, but she didn’t answer. He called her sister, who told him Mahdia had left for home a few minutes earlier. Then came a call from their eldest, Zakariya, 20, who asked his father who had been driving the family car. When Adib told him that his mother had taken it, he heard cries of anguish on the other end of the line. Weeping and shouting, Zakariya told his father that he had seen the bullet-riddled car from a distance and knew it was theirs – and now came the appalling realization that his mother was in the vehicle.

    A relative, Yihyeh Mubarak, who lives in New Orleans, served in the U.S. Army in the Iraq war and returns to his hometown for a few months every year to work as a paramedic, immediately took Zakariya into his ambulance and gave him tranquilizers. Mubarak already knew Mahdia had been hurt badly, but the Border Policemen prevented him at gunpoint from approaching her car in order to take her to the hospital. He received her body, riddled with 17 bullets, that evening from the Civil Administration’s Beit El base – which was unusual, because Israel almost always delays the return of bodies of perpetrators of attacks – and took it to the hospital in Ramallah.

    Mubarak is on the verge of tears as he recounts the day’s events. Never, he declares, has he seen such violent behavior by soldiers and police in the territories as during the past few months.

    Back on the street of death, a mule is now tied up next to the spot from which the Border Policemen opened fire at Mahdia Hammad. She’d begun to drive up the street and in front of her a Mitsubishi jeep carrying construction workers who quickly turned around when they saw the Israeli troops ahead. They related that they had shouted to Mahdia to turn around, too, but she ignored them. Her window was closed and maybe she didn’t hear them. She went on driving.

    From a distance of dozens of meters, a Border Policeman signaled her with his hand to stop, but she continued on, slowly.

    The shooting started when she was some 20 to 30 meters from them. One witness said that a warning shot was fired into the air, but none of the others saw that. In any event, the volleys of rifle fire began immediately. According to one eyewitness, a policeman knelt on the ground and aimed his rifle at the car, while the others fired bursts of bullets. The testimonies indicate that there were about eight Border Policemen on the street. One person present related that he saw Mahdia raise her hand in the car, possibly to signal the policemen to stop shooting.

    When the car came to a halt, another policeman emerged from the perpendicular street, thrust his rifle into the bullet-riddled car and fired another volley into Mahdia’s head, even though she was certainly dead by then. The troops then took the car and the body away and prevented everyone, including the ambulance driver, from approaching.

    The Border Police spokesperson stated this week that its investigation revealed that, “the shooting took place during an attempt to run over Border Policemen involved in an operational action in Silwad. The terrorist, who saw that the forces were busy dispersing persons that were disturbing the peace, accelerated suddenly while swerving in their direction. The forces fired warning shots in the air but she kept moving toward them while accelerating her vehicle. The forces fired shots at the car to avoid being hit and immediately stopped firing when the danger had passed. The attempt to omit facts and twist the circumstances of the incident constitutes a futile effort to distort the truth.”

    What actually happened? Did Mahdia understand that she had to stop? Did she try unsuccessfully to brake? Was she really trying to run over the policemen? Her husband says she suffered from hearing problems. He says she was a bad driver, and finds it impossible to imagine that she intended to run over anyone. She loved her life, he says, and most of all she loved Yihyeh, their baby.

    The car has not yet been returned to him, nor has the computer that was in it, with all the construction plans he was working on.

    The widower asks quietly, “How was the story presented in Israel? Do the Israelis know what happened? Did the way Mahdia died lead to a public discussion?”

    We, of course, are ashamed to reply.


  • The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب : Take Two : How New York Times justified the placement of Alawite civilians in cages to be used as human shields
    http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2015/11/take-two-how-new-york-times-justified.html

    Take Two: How New York Times justified the placement of Alawite civilians in cages to be used as human shields
    1) Typical of the New York Times: Alawite sect is always referred to as “Bashshar Al-Asad’s sect”, as if he is its prophet or as if he owns it. This is bigotry in the extreme and has provided justification and jubilation for war crimes by Syrian rebels. It would be disgusting anti-Semitism if one were to refer to Judaism as “the religion of Ariel Sharon” or to refer to Islam as “the religion of ISIS”.
    2) Like the HRW statement (see below) the article immediately gives readers justification of the cage war crime: “Two days after Syrian government forces shelled a rebel-held suburb of the capital, Damascus, killing at least 40 people in a market”. That is it: the reader is immediately persuaded to sympathize with the war crimes of the rebel by telling them that the Syrian regime started this. Notice that New York Times has been doing this constantly and it is a propaganda service that the New York Times has never rendered except to Israeli occupation forces. You will look in vain to find any reference to a war crime by the regime in which a sentence is inserted to remind readers of a war crime by Syrian rebels.
    3) Instead of condemning the act, the article in fact makes an effort to blatantly justifiies it and does not even refer to its practice as human shields: “apparently to shield the area from further bombardment”.
    4) Wait: how were they able to capture “army officers” with their families? The officers were on the battle fields with their families? “the prisoners were captured army officers from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect and their families.” Another desperate attempt to provide justifications.
    5) Joshua Landis is wrong: it is not uncommon for Syrian rebels to impose Sunni-style veiling on Alawite women: “Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, suggested that some of the women appeared to be Sunni Muslims.”
    6) The NYT even tries to present the leader of the group which committed those war crimes in a positive light: “The Army of Islam, a group with financial backing from Saudi Arabia, is led by Zahran Alloush, a Sunni commander who seemed to back away from sectarian anti-Alawite statements in an interview with an American journalist, Roy Gutman, in May.” That is all what it takes for NYT to be convinced that he is no more anti-Alawite? I am sure that Times would have been impressed with Ribbentrop statements in Nuremberg as well.
    7) Obama’s administration is in contact with this war criminal: “Mr. Alloush, who said his faction had been in direct contact with Daniel Rubinstein, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Syria”.
    8) Another attempt by Alewives to justify indiscriminate war crimes against all Alawites: “Alawites from the Assad family have ruled Syria for decades, even though most Syrians are Sunnis.” Imagine how the NYT would be outraged if an Arab were to insert a statement about the murder of Jews by Palestinians to the effect that: “Jews have ruled Palestine since 1948”: such a reference would be categorized as anti-Semitism in a sentence about violence.
    9) Another justification in the same article for the cage war crime: “The rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta has been under intense bombardment since the insurgents managed to block the main northern entrance to Damascus”.
    10) They managed to even Skyped with someone to give them another justification: ““It’s to protect the civilians,” Bilal Abu Salah, a media activist from Douma, said in a Skype interview on Sunday.” And by referring to this supporter of war crimes as “media activists” they only lend his voice credibility.
    11) Then a medication justification for the cage war crime: “A paramedic from Douma who asked to be identified only by his first name, Ahmad, said the casualties of the recent strikes there “were women and kids mostly.””
    12) Another justification: “said the Sunni Islamist group had copied the strategy of using “kidnapped people — including whole families — as human shields,” seen earlier in Alawite-majority towns seeking to deter shelling by insurgents.” Where did the Times correspondent see that in Alawite-majority towns? Why not name them and provide readers with pictures?

    Excellente analyse de texte, en en l’occurrence un article du NYT, par Angry Arab. Pas suffisant malheureusement pour convaincre ceux qui s’obstinent encore à applaudir à la révolution syrienne.

    #syrie