YouTube issues a warning: This video may be inappropriate for some viewers.”
Assurances must then be given by said viewers that they “understand and wish to proceed’’ before being permitted to watch a Palestinian child be gunned down in an open field by an unknown Israeli sniper.
Let’s imagine YouTube had posted these prefatory words instead:
“This video captures the deliberate shooting of a Palestinian teenager, who later died, and who had lived under military occupation the entire 16 years of his life. Don’t pretend you don’t know this, America. Don’t pretend you didn’t pay for it with your tax dollars. What you are about to see is a gross violation of international law and a crime. The Israeli soldier who wantonly shot this child and the commanding officer who gave the shoot-to-kill order must be brought to justice. Now proceed, damn it, then do something to end the Israeli occupation.”
At least 2,167 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s occupation forces since September, 2000. “The majority were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes.”
Ahmad Misbah Abu Tyour, 16, was mortally wounded in besieged Gaza, on Friday, September 7. He had joined the Great March of Return Protest near Rafah that day, the 24th such mass action across the territory since March 30.
His savage killing is a familiar story, to the corporate media that refused to report it…to the political and military elites in Washington who provided Israel’s snipers with their weaponry…to the Israeli commander who gave the green light to shoot…to the Israeli official who promised to “investigate the incident.”
Moments before he is shot, Ahmad is facing, but far removed from, the demarcation fence that separates Gaza from Israel. When the video opens, he is standing, unarmed, holding his arms above his head. Repeat: arms above his head, unarmed.
Eventually, Ahmad picks up a stone – repeat: a stone – and throws it toward the fence. The point is for Israel’s occupiers to see him. To take stock of his defiance, his fearless heart, his will to resist and win his freedom.
His killer is far away, protected by fortifications, heavily armed. He sees Ahmad through his rifle scope; he knows he’s just a boy with a stone. He understands, too, there will be no consequences for taking the child’s life.
Ahmad raises his hands again, claps intermittently. A handful of seconds pass, then he is shot in the chest. He will die the following day from his wounds.
Ahmad’s death was not enough. Israeli soldiers killed another teen, Bilal Mustafa Khaffaja, 17, the same Friday, and wounded nearly 400 Palestinians, many by live fire.
-By Mark Hage, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine