by Stephen Lendman
Since 2000 alone, Israel killed around 10,000 Palestinians, including over 2,000 children. The Occupied Territories are virtual free-fire zones.
Israeli soldiers, police and other security forces kill defenseless Palestinians with impunity. Israel's record since its 1947-48 war establishing the Jewish state reflects out-of-control violence and persecution - especially since occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in June 1967.
Palestinian witnesses report Israeli soldiers stationed along the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel repeatedly open fire on anyone coming too close to restricted areas - including small children at play and farmers in their fields.
On Monday, local sources said Israeli forces used machine guns against agricultural lands east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Farmers and civilian homes were targeted. No injuries were reported.
Fishermen at sea threatening no one are attacked, at times injured or killed, otherwise arrested, their vessels and gear confiscated.
Terms of last summer's truce following 51 days of mass slaughter and destruction pledged these activities would cease. They continue repeatedly with impunity.
Palestinian lives don't matter. On July 3, IDF Col. Yisrael Shomer murdered 17-year-old Muhammad 'Ali-Kosba in cold blood.
He threw a stone at his car harming no one. Col. Shomer lied claiming he acted in fear of his life and acted in "self-defense."
False! Video footage obtained by B'Tselem proved otherwise. 'Ali-Kosba was fleeing when gunned down in cold blood.
Israeli General Roni Numa said he "fully backed the brigade commander and the way he handled the incident, in which the force was faced with real mortal threat" - none whatever as video evidence confirmed.
Other Israeli officials issued statements supporting cold-blooded murder. Hardline education minister Naftali Bennett said "I back completely the Binyamin Commander who acted against a terrorist in order to defend his soldiers."
B'Tselem collected eye witness testimonies and surveillance camera video footage. It got information from Ramallah hospital doctors examining 'Ali-Kosba when he arrived.
Col. Shomer drove his military vehicle toward the Qalandiya checkpoint. As he approached the area, 'Ali-Kosba ran towards it, threw a stone at the vehicle's window screen from short range, causing damage, then fled on foot.
Video footage showed the vehicle stopping. Two soldiers inside began pursuing 'Ali-Kosba. Another stayed with the vehicle. No further stone throwing occurred.
The shooting occurred outside the surveillance camera's range of vision. Eye witnesses said Col. Shomer shot 'Ali-Kosba from about 10 meters away.
Instead of providing or calling for medical aid, he and the other soldiers drove off leaving 'Ali-Kosba to die. He was taken by private car to Ramallah hospital where he was pronounced clinically dead.
B'Tselem said it sent the video footage to Israel's Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU). It clearly showed 'Ali-Kosba was shot and killed in cold blood from close range. He posed no danger to Col. Shomer. He lied claiming otherwise.
"'Ali-Kosba sustained three bullet wounds to his upper body: one bullet hit the side of his face and two struck him from behind," said B'Tselem.
"The location and entry points of the injuries corroborate the details provided by the eyewitness accounts and by the video footage, according to which he was shot in the back while running away from the soldiers."
Claiming he "posed a mortal threat to the soldiers at the time of the shooting, having fled the scene, is unreasonable." He threatened no one.
Expect coverup and denial to follow - the usual whitewash following these type incidents happening with disturbing regularity.
An IDF spokesperson said Col. Shomer followed proper procedure. Military open-fire regulations permit firing at legs only to facilitate arrests - not willfully committing murder by upper body wounds.
Leaving the scene of the incident without offering medical help violated military regulations. They require soldiers to administer aid to individuals injured by gunfire.
A senior commander violating mandated procedure compounds the gravity of the offense. It lets low-ranking soldiers know it's OK to shoot to kill for any reason or none at all.
MPIU investigations follow these type incidents. It bears repeating. Expect the usual whitewash result, especially with a high-ranking officer involved.
Justice for Palestinian victims and surviving family members is virtually impossible. Their rights don't matter.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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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