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Palestine: Anger at Young Boy's Needless Death

According to a report from BBC News, Israeli troops shot and killed a 12-year-old boy during a protest against the barrier being erected in Nilin. Although soldiers shot at other protestors with rubber bullets, injuring up to 18 people, the boy was the only person hit by a live bullet.

The Palestine Solidarity Project explained the incident in detail:

Friday, August 1, residents of Ni’lin, who have buried a 10 year old boy, Ahmed Mousa, and have another youth, Yousef Amira, brain dead in a hospital in Ramallah, returned to their struggle against the confiscation of their land. Palestinians were joined by Israeli and international solidarity activists as they marched towards the site of the construction of the Annexation Barrier and where Ahmed Mousa was fatally shot in the head. More than a hundred meters away from the site several rolls of razor-wire had been set up by the military to prevent access to the construction site after several demonstrations had successfully reached the bulldozers and prevented their work in past weeks. It was this razor-wire that Ahmed Mousa was killed for touching.

Climbing Walls, who describes herself as “an American Muslimah in Palestine,” takes note of Nilin's (Na'alin) prominence in the news of late:

The village of Na'alin has been in the news lately, at least the news here. They have been protesting the construction of the wall which will cut much of the agricultural land from the village. These protests seem to always have a group of foreign or Israeli activists who are committed to nonviolence, but their protests are often forcefully dispersed. That is where the young man was shot in the foot with a rubber bullet while he was bound and blindfolded. The officer who was holding him has been suspended for 10 days pending an investigation into whether he actually ordered the shooting. And today a 9 year old boy was shot and killed. It is so sad.

DesertPeace, an American who lives in Jerusalem, had this to say about the boy's death:

Just remember, the bullet that killed this 11 year old boy was a gift from the United States government….

Jews Sans Frontieres, an “anti-Zionist blog,” expressed anger as well:

What games the mainstream plays for Israel. Oh, by the way Israel killed yet another child today. Or was it yesterday, or tomorrow. Actually this one was today. But look at how CNN reports the crime:

Palestinian boy killed during protest, witnesses say

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Israeli soldiers Tuesday fired shots near a group of Palestinian youths during a demonstration in the West Bank, killing a 9-year-old boy, eyewitnesses told CNN.”

They fired “shots near a group of Palestinian youths”. See, if they weren't the most moral army in the world they would have fired at them and that could have been fatal.

Arab-American blog KABOBfest took a cynical view of the situation:

Those poor Israeli soldiers, eh? Dealing with civilian protestors from Nil’in objecting to the theft of their land for the benefit of illegal settlements, the soldiers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the villagers refusal to just shutup and give in.

So they shoot them.

More somberly, the blogger reminds us that:

There have been over 70 Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers in this year alone.

Our thoughts are with the family of Ahmed Ussam Yousef Mousa. May he rest in peace.

22 comments

  • Well, to clarify, I am not “saddened by Nilin’s (Na’alin) prominence in the news of late.” I am glad that their story is getting told and that they are getting some media coverage. What is sad is that it takes a little boy’s death to get the major media to pay attention to the situation. The “security barrier” is cutting the people of the village off from their livelihood and isolating them in a giant cattle pen; the world should pay attention.

    My heart goes out to the family of little Ahmed, who was the same age as my youngest son. May God have mercy on them all.

  • Apologies, alajnabiya – I’m happy to change what I wrote to reflect your true feelings.

    I absolutely agree with you – just a case of writing quickly!

  • gerald zuckier

    i’m just as sad/mad as you are that a 10 year old palestinian boy is killed. or for the palestinian kids whose parents are killed or whose lives are wrecked in other ways.

    i suspect the difference between us is that i’m equally sad/mad at the israeli children who are killed or whose lives are wrecked. i’m afraid i don’t subscribe to the theory that they deserve it because of some collective guilt for the policies of their government.

    i blame the murderers on both sides. it’ll never stop until people shift their frame of reference from israelis versus palestinians to decent people versus destructive people, regardless of “side”.

  • This saddens me greatly. To think of any loss of a child through a random bullet – they could not have been targeting a young child surely – is tragic. The effects of such a loss are tremendous. With his family and friends and the effects he his death has on the conflict which will just be fueled further by the death of child.

    Surely the similarities between the two conflicting sides can be seen more clearly through the eyes of a child – they surly learn their prejudices through their families – they are not innate.

    There is a very interesting history of the conflict at http://www.vision.org called “Triumph and Tragedy in the Middle East – What Happened 60 Years Ago, and Why Jerusalem Won’t Go Away”

    I learned a lot from the concise history. worth a read.

  • I’m being a bit greedy with space here – but I had read an article a while ago that is fitting – in fact your story and report brought it home to me and I had to go back an reread parts of it. Also at http://www.vision.org called “Building Resilience in a Turbulent World” Speaking of resilience – that is what disturbs me most about the continuing conflict expressed here in your story (could be anywhere – so many conflicts). How does one live like that or bounce back??? It makes an interesting point in the article that here in the US, we are not living “in groups of 50 to 70 and [where] there were multiple generations and multiple people we were interconnected with,” – there is more emphasis on individualization (and thereby creating isolation?) – where as I can assume that here there is more of a community and family to surround those affected – after all the protest was concerning a barrier that would divide community.

  • @gerald,

    That’s a rather rude assumption to make (assuming you were making it about me, that is). I am saddened when any child is killed – Israeli children are no more at fault than Palestinian children for this conflict.

  • Tal

    Dear Jillian,

    It’s reflects from your writing that you care more about Palestinians then for Israelis. When four innocent people were killed by a bulldozer attack, you were focusing on whether we should call the driver a murderer or terrorist. While in thid also sad case you focus on the chiled.
    It’s a mattar of focus Jillian

    With much regret for the kid’s death,
    Tal

  • Mr. Zuckier, if your comment was directed at me, I assure you that I am as distressed at the killing of an Israeli child as I am a Palestinian child. I have no sympathy for random bombings of civilian targets. I think they are both immoral and counter productive.

  • Tal,

    I do care more about the Palestinian cause, however, we’re talking about two very different situations. The bulldozer incidents both received significant coverage by the international media; but when an Israeli soldier kills a Palestinian child, where’s CNN?

    That’s where my outrage comes from; perception.

    Jillian

  • Tal,

    I should also point out that Maya Norton has provided excellent coverage of the Israeli blogosphere’s thoughts on the matter (http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/07/23/israel-jerusalem-suffers-copycat-terrorist-attack/)

    It’s only fair that we present both (or as many as possible) sides of the story.

    Jillian

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