Israel Uses Lethal Force Against Palestinian Children
by Stephen Lendman
It’s longstanding Israel practice – shooting defenseless Palestinian children in cold blood.
Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) explains what’s virtually unreported in the West.
On March 23, DCI-P called on UN member states to hold Israel accountable for crimes against Palestinian children.
It issued a statement to the UN Human Rights Council saying in part:
“A generation of Palestinian children living under prolonged Israeli military occupation have been arrested, shot, shelled and bombed since 2000, and, during this time, Israeli forces have killed over 1,900 children.”
“Israel is the only state to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process.”
“Recent amendments to Israeli military laws concerning children have had little to no impact on ending widespread and systematic ill treatment and torture.”
“Despite well-documented evidence of grave violations of international law, justice and accountability is persistently denied to Palestinian children.”
“Instead, (they) continually bear the brunt of Israel’s repeated military offensives and suffer from a completely man-made humanitarian crisis created by Israel’s eight-year long blockade of Gaza.”
“Between July 8 and August 26, 2014, Israeli attacks on Gaza killed over 500 Palestinian children.”
“(T)he need for justice and accountability is urgent.”
DCI-P reported on Israel repeatedly using live fire against peaceful protesters.
Since January, at least 30 Palestinian children were shot in cold blood.
According to DCI-P accountability program director Ayed Abu Eqtaish:
“The high rate of incidents involving live ammunition against children amounts to a de facto policy that permits Israeli forces to use lethal force on (defenseless) civilians.”
“Soldiers operate with the knowledge that their brutal actions will go unchecked whatever the result.”
They have license to kill. They take full advantage. Palestinian lives don’t matter.
Young children are treated as brutally as adults. In December, DCI-P quoted Israeli General Tamir Yadai saying the IDF adopted a “tougher approach” against Palestinian protesters.
“In places where we used to fire tear-gas or rubber (coated steel) bullets], we now fire Ruger bullets and sometimes live bullets.”
“We’re at around 25 people hit here in the last three weeks. That’s a relatively high figure on any scale.”
Yadai’s statement contradicts Israeli military regulations.
They permit live fire only in cases of real threats. Peaceful protesters pose none. They’re shot anyway.
In the past three months, Israeli goon squads injured 258 West Bank Palestinians.
Between March 10 and 16 alone, 18 Palestinians were shot with live ammunition – including nine children.
Since 2000, Israeli goon squads murdered nearly 9,000 Palestinians – including about 1,900 children.
A February 2015 UNICEF report confirms ill-treatment of Palestinian children. Horrific abuse is systematic and widespread.
DCI-P’s Eqtaish said “(d)espite an ongoing dialogue with UNICEF over nearly two years, Israeli authorities have persistently failed to implement practical changes to stop violence and ill-treatment against Palestinian child(ren).”
Especially torture and ill-treatment during detention. Militarized brutality makes life in Occupied Palestine unbearable.
Nothing is done to hold Israel accountable for its high crimes.
DCI-P’s Brad Parker explains Palestinian “children are shot in circumstances that fail to justify lethal force under the Israeli military’s own live-fire guidelines, yet no soldier is held accountable.”
“Nobody is held accountable for violating regulations and definitely not for the actual lethal conduct.”
“Systemic impunity essentially guarantees that Israeli soldiers will go unpunished even for lethal conduct.”
They’re given carte blanche freedom to brutalize and murder Palestinians – including young children.
When rare investigations are conducted, they’re routinely whitewashed.
Accountability is entirely absent. Children too young to understand what’s happening are targeted.
Six-year-olds are shot. Israeli soldiers murdered 10-year-old Khalil Mohammad Ahmad al-Anati meters from his home while at play.
Parker was clear and unequivocal saying “(t)he bottom line is that Israel’s military occupation directly threatens the lives of Palestinian children.”
“Until soldiers are held accountable for their actions, more children will be killed.”
Occupied Palestine is a war zone. Israel takes full advantage murdering defenseless young children with impunity.
On March 25, DCI-P advocacy officer Olivia Watson told Maan News:
“The pace at which we are documenting injuries from live ammunition in 2015 shows no sign of slowing down.”
“…Israeli forces continue to shoot at (Palestinian) children with impunity.”
They live in constant danger of being brutalized, shot, killed, injured or maimed for life.
World leaders able to intervene responsibly do nothing.
Palestinian lives and welfare don’t matter – not earlier, now or any time ahead in the foreseeable future.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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