Thursday, December 03, 2020

Barghouthi: Itís time for the international community to stand up against Israeli human rights abuses

By Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi - April 10, 2018
Section: [Main News] [Opinion]
Tags: [Gaza] [Human rights] [press freedom] [IDF]

During the Great Return March, the Israeli army has committed war crimes by shooting peaceful protestors. Specifically during last Friday, the Israeli army targeted journalists. Seven journalists were injured, including Yasser Murtjala who succumbed to his wounds on Saturday.

These journalists were shot even though they had very clear signs they were press. Murtjala for instance was wearing a vest marked 'press’ and a ballistic helmet. They shot him still. The bullet entered his side which was not covered by the shield of the press vest.
It’s clear these journalists were shot by snipers. It’s clear that the Israeli snipers were aiming at these people. As the Israeli Defense Force declared on Twitter: “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”
The Israeli forces during the Great Return March were also shooting at medical personnel. A young first aide provider from Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) Ahmad abu Alula was shot while helping an injured person on Friday April 6.  Another red Crescent volunteer was shot and injured on April 9.
It is important to say, the army attacked journalists purposefully because they didn’t want the world to know the truth of what is going on in Gaza and in all occupied Palestinian land. 
The last few weeks bring back memories of the First Intifada, when the Israeli forces were caught breaking the bones of unarmed civilians who were peacefully protesting and shooting them.
The actions of Israel should be condemned. It is expected that the Israeli army will repeat the same human rights violations next Friday, unless there is international pressure to stop them shooting unarmed civilians.
It is so strange some parties in the world are trying to avoid criticizing Israeli and instead trying to blame the victim, the Palestinians demonstrating have been under siege for 12 years. They have electricity only for 6-8 hours every day and their water and soil is polluted.
The vast majority of people shot, killed or injured - more than 1400 people - were shot not at the fence with Israel but inside the Gaza Strip. For 12 years Israel has been trying to enforce a buffer zone. A zone which is no less than 24% of the Strip. It lies 700-800 m inside Gaza. The Palestinians shot during protest were inside that buffer zone and not in at the border. The soldiers shooting them is proof Israel is occupying Gaza.
I remember the times when we were meeting so many foreign officials and journalists and they would always say; “why don’t the Palestinians march in thousands, like Martin Luther King organised?”
Ok, now we’ve done it. We’ve done what Martin Luther King and Ghandi did and the Israeli response was shooting people ruthlessly. It’s time for those who are advising us to use peaceful non-violent resistance to impose sanctions, on Israel.

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