June 26, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Whatsapp text messages exchanged between Israeli soldiers reveal they knew they were about to kill a child. Nevertheless, they ambushed and fatally shot 14-year-old Palestinian Yousef al-Shawamreh in March, 2014.
According to B’Tselem, al-Shawamreh— accompanied by two friends— was attempting to cross Israel’s wall into the southern region of the West Bank in order to reach the agricultural land.
As B’Tselem explains, “(al-Shawamreh and two friends) went through a gap in the Separation Barrier southwest of Hebron to pick edible plants from their families’ farmland. The section of the Separation Barrier in this area, near the village of Deir al-‘Asal al-Foqa, does not lie along the boundary with Israel (the Green Line) but rather some 200 meters east, within the West Bank. These families still rely financially on harvesting plants from their farmland that is now trapped on the other side of the fence.” It continues, “the boy was shot in broad daylight, although he posed no danger.”
Below is an image of the Israeli soldiers’ Whatsapp text messages before they ambushed and ultimately shot and killed the Palestinian teen. The original texts are typed in Hebrew and have been translated into English:
The Israeli military opened and closed an internal investigation within four months of al-Shawamreh’s killing without any indictment. B’Tselem, which filed an inquiry into how the investigation was conducted, reported that,
“In July 2014, roughly four months after the incident took place, then-Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch notified B’Tselem that the Military Advocate General (MAG) had decided to close the investigation without serving any indictments as there was ‘no suspicion that the open-fire regulations had been breached or that any military personnel were involved in criminal action.’”
The report continues, “B’Tslem’s examination of the MPIU file found that the military investigation was sloppy and partial. No apparent attempt was made to reconcile the contradicting versions given by the suspects and by witnesses, and the responsibility of the commanders who decided to mount an armed ambush at the spot was utterly ignored.”
B’Tselem was also able to obtain video of the incident:.
Furthermore, as reported by Anti-Media, Israel recently dismissed the killings of three other Palestinian children during an Israeli airstrike last summer on a Gaza beach.
Similar to the March 2014 incident, an internal “investigation” was opened and closed without any indictments against those who initiated or carried out the attack..
This appears to be a horrific trend rather than isolated accidents or coincidences. Israeli commanders and soldiers commit wrongdoing, a so-called investigation is opened, said so-called investigation is closed, and no convictions are sought for those responsible for the crimes.
Interestingly enough, this trend also mimics instances of police brutality in the U.S., where innocent teens— and people of all ages— are beaten and/or killed by law enforcement. Such instances are typically followed by internal police investigations, which often find the officers involved not guilty. The responsible parties go unindicted for their crimes.
It is absolutely necessary to expose these crimes whenever and wherever they occur, whether they take place, in the U.S. or abroad. This is especially true when there is substantial evidence to prove that the wrongdoings were just that— morally, ethically, and even legally— wrong.
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