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Shooting unarmed Palestinian protestors is a heinous crime

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Dear editor,

The use of a live fire by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to disperse peaceful Palestinian demonstrators is a heinous crime. Over the last 9 days, the IDF have murdered 31 and injured another 2,850 in Gaza according to Palestinian Health Ministry. 

This took place on the 30th of March when around 30,000 men, women, children, and unarmed Palestinian protesters marched near the Israeli border as part of the “March of Return,” demanding justice and the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their homes. Protesters were faced with life ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters dropped from drone aircraft and tanks.

Referring to this blood bath by western mainstream media as “clashes,” “riots,” or confrontation is wrong and unfair. The Palestinians were behind a perimeter fence separated by 700 meters of buffer zone and then another perimeter fence. The IDF soldiers were not directly in confrontation with anyone!! Those civilians were being shot by snipers over 700 meters away and even a stone thrown would not reach the IDF. The Israelis were not in direct danger, they were NOT DEFENDING THEMSELVES. Protester were armed only with the Palestinian flag and they were met with murderous force.  The Israeli plan was to ensure next generation of Palestinians are grown up to be scared cowards who would just live in concentration camp of Gaza and never cause any problem for Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Lieberman rejected international calls to investigate the massacre in Gaza and said Israeli soldiers deserve medals. According to Lieberman, there are no innocent people in Gaza. In other words, the women, children, medical workers, teachers, firefighters, and journalists are not innocent people. He is therefore claiming that all of them are legitimate targets, which is illegal under international law.

According to Gaza health Ministry reports, 770 of the Good Friday victims of the Israeli Snipers using limb-shattering high-velocity ammunition are now amputees. As a result, B’Tselem, the respected Human rights NGO, began a media campaign urging IDF soldiers posted on the Gaza border to disobey “potentially illegal” shoot-to-kill orders against unarmed protesters.

Deadly force was used in the past against peaceful and unarmed protesters in places like:

1. Amritsar, 1919

2. Sharpeville, 1960

3. Northern Ireland, 1972

4. Tiananmen, 1989

5. It is happening now in Gaza

The world must speak out and act! Yesterday, President Trump tweeted an hour after two women were killed in Muenster, Germany when a man drove his minivan into a crowded open-air restaurant terrace, but he remained so far lip-tied about the massacre in Gaza.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Freelance Palestinian writer

Westerville, Ohio