I have read enough reports about Palestinian led Land Day protests in the Gaza area to suspect they that are being met with excessive force by Israelis. The Israeli officials argue that there are legitimate reasons for their actions and only known terrorists are being targeted by sniper fire. The Palestinians are detailing how they are protesting peacefully with minimal rock throwing but that this action doesn’t warrant being gunned down indiscriminately.
I, personally would want an independent investigation to be conducted but when a vote came up in a United Nations forum, the US blocked this from happening.
There has not been enough US news coverage on these Palestinian protests in Gaza area.
Here is the rest of the story…
On April 4, 2018, Diana Buttu for the Washington Post penned the following report, “After the Gaza killings, it’s time to crack down on Israel”
Diana Buttu served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team and was directly involved in negotiations with Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“Israel’s killing of 18 Palestinian protesters in Gaza last Friday was entirely predictable. It was also entirely avoidable. The victims were taking part in the annual Land Day march commemorating the 1976 killing of six Palestinians who were protesting Israel’s confiscation of thousands of acres of their land. This year’s event also marks 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the displacement from their land during the establishment of the State of Israel.”
“Participants marched to the heavily fortified eastern boundary between Gaza and Israel, in a symbolic show of return to their land and the homes from which they and their families originate. Yet even before the march began, Israel announced that it would deploy more than 100 snipers, helicopters with tear gas, and tanks to shoot the protesters. By the day’s end, Israeli soldiers had killed 18 Palestinians with live ammunition and injured more than 1,700. This despite the fact that not a single Israeli soldier was harmed or even in any danger.”
“Here lies the tragedy: Palestinians demonstrating against the killing of unarmed Palestinians are themselves gunned down by Israel’s military.”
“The Israeli army tweeted that “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.” The tweet was quickly deleted when video emerged of soldiers shooting 19-year old Abed el-Fatah Abed el-Nabi in the back.”
“The tragedy lies not only in the killing of Palestinians, but in the responses of Israel and the United States to this massacre. It has become commonplace, indeed expected, that the killing of Palestinians is either ignored or, more frighteningly, applauded by Israelis, as was the 2014 killing of more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza. Indeed, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman — who once called for Palestinian citizens of Israel he deemed disloyal to be beheaded — quickly praised Israel’s military, stating that its soldiers “deserve a commendation.” Calls by Palestinians, the European Union and the United Nations for an independent investigation were swiftly rejected, with both Israel and the Trump administration blocking any endorsement of an investigation by the Security Council. Israel also immediately announced that it would not even go through the theatrics of carrying out its own internal inquiry. The message that Israel and the United States have sent is that Palestinian lives are dispensable, unworthy of any investigation, even when it is clear that their lives were taken unlawfully.”
“An independent investigation would highlight that Gaza remains under Israel’s 50-year-old military rule and decade-old naval blockade, cut off from the world. It would undoubtedly highlight that, in addition to the electrified fence on Gaza’s eastern and northern sides, Gaza is blocked in with a concrete wall to the south and by the naval blockade to the west. It would highlight that all of the Palestinians killed were killed inside Gaza, and within the undefined Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” that further cuts into Gaza’s territory, in many places by as much as 1,000 feet. In the words of one protester friend shot on Friday, “We did not go to the buffer zone; the buffer zone came to us.” An independent investigation would undoubtedly highlight that live fire may only be used against combatants participating in military action. Killing people is neither a video game nor a sport. In sum, an investigation would reveal that for Israel, it does not matter that Palestinians protest; our lives are considered expendable.”
“It is for these reasons that Israel and the Trump administration are adamantly blocking any investigation of what took place Friday (3/30/18). This is why the time has come for an arms embargo and sanctions against apartheid Israel, similar to the arms embargo that was imposed by the United Nations against apartheid South Africa. This is not without precedent in the United States, where the Arms Export Control Act has the power to ensure that arms are not given to a government “which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” Similar legislation exists in the E.U. What is missing is political will. Instead, as the United States and the E.U. continue to try to appease Israel, Palestinians pay the price — with their lives.”
As per an April 1, 2018 Al Jazeera report, “The United States has blocked a draft statement by the United Nations Security Council that called for an investigation into the killing of 17 unarmed Palestinian protesters near the Gaza Strip‘s eastern border.”
“The statement, which was proposed by Kuwait, demanded an “independent and transparent investigation” under international law into the bloody events on Friday’s Land Day protests.
The statement also expressed “grave concern at the situation at the border” and stressed “the right to peaceful protest”.
However, the US blocked the statement on Saturday, with US representative to the UN Walter Miller saying “bad actors” were using the “protests as a cover to incite violence” and to “endanger innocent lives.”
See entire Al Jazeera report: US blocks UNSC statement on Israel’s use of force on Land Day
As per a March 31, 2018 Al Jaeera report, At Kuwait’s request, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting late on Friday, but failed to agree on a joint statement.”
“UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “independent and transparent investigation” and reaffirmed “the readiness” of the world body to revitalise peace efforts.”
“However, Mansour al-Otaibi, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UN, issued a statement criticising the Security Council’s for failing to take action against Israel.”
“People in occupied Palestine are disappointed that the Security Council met, but did not take action yet to stop this massacre and to hold those responsible to account.”
“The Jordanian government also issued a statement laying responsibility on Israel for the deaths of the Palestinian protesters.”
“Mohammad al-Momani, spokesperson for the Jordanian government, said: “As an occupying power, Israel bears responsibility for what happened in Gaza today, as a result of the Israeli violation of the Palestinian right to protest peacefully and the use of excessive force against them”.
“The Turkish and Qatari governments released similar statements, condemning Israel’s use of force.”
See entire 3/31/18 Al Jazeera report: Israeli army kills 17 Palestinians in Gaza protests | Israeli–Palestinian .
See Times of Israel report: PA slams Nikki Haley as ‘ambassador of hatred’ after she blocks anti Israel move
For more videos see the March 30, 2018 Intercept report,”Israel Opens Fire on Palestinian Protesters in Gaza; Trump Envoy Blames “Hostile March”
“ISRAELI SNIPERS KILLED at least 15 Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Friday, and injured hundreds more with live fire, as up to 50,000 residents of the besieged enclave answered an activist’s call to embrace civil disobedience by demonstrating close to the border fence, an area defined by the Israeli Defense Forces as a closed military zone.”
“There is video of Israeli marksmen shooting unarmed protesters, including at least one young man who was engaged in prayer at the time, appalled observers from both communities.”
“The fatal shooting of one victim, a boy in a black shirt who was identified later as Fattah Abdul Nabi,19, stirred particular outrage, because video recorded from three different camera angles showed that he was clearly unarmed and moving away from the border fence when he was gunned down.”
“Clashes” is a word pro-Israel media use to whitewash the reality that Israel is shooting dead unarmed civilians in cold blood for doing nothing other than demonstrating for their rights. “Clashes” fraudulently suggests equal power and responsibility. https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/979693810275020803 …
“One Palestinian photographer, Walid Mahmoud Rouk, argued that live video of the demonstration he streamed to Facebook throughout the day proved that peaceful protesters had been attacked without cause.”
“Despite these firsthand accounts, responsibility for the violence was put squarely on the Palestinians by outlets like Fox News, which assured viewers in Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere that Israeli troops had been attacked.”
“Israel’s use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians came after the planned protest had been denounced by Jason Greenblatt, the Trump Organization lawyer sent by the president to negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Writing on Twitter the night before the rally, Greenblatt described the planned demonstration as a “hostile march,” and falsely accused the organizers of being members of Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza.”
“While Hamas officials had promoted plans for the march and encouraged members to take part, it began on the Facebook page of Artema, a political independent whose family is originally from the city of Ramle, now in central Israel.”
“Greenblatt’s comments, distorting the character of the protest, appeared almost identical to social media propaganda released by the Israeli military.”
“The American envoy’s remarks contrasted sharply with comments made by former Secretary of State John Kerry last year, in which he seemed to predict that Israel might soon be confronted with the mass civil disobedience and the spectacle of “40,000 kids marching up to the wall every day with signs saying ‘give us our rights.’”
“The Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein observed bitterly that such a display of deadly force was particularly galling on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover.”
As per a 4/4/18 Independent report by Samuel Osborne, “A Palestinian football player filmed the moment he appears to get shot in the knee, destroying the joint and his career.
“Mohammed Khalil, who played for a football club in the Gaza Strip, was apparently shot by an Israeli soldier as he protested near the border last week.”
“Footage of the shooting was posted on Twitter by the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Kareem. Mr Kareem said Mr Khalil now needs knee replacement surgery in order to be able to walk again.”
“That racist terrorist bullet put an end to his football career.”