photo: Tyler Hicks/The New York TimesRemember those #kids #murdered in cold blood on July 17th last year? Getting hit by two missile strikes on Gaza's #beach on a sunny day while playing #football and hide-and-seek?Hicks wrote in NYT:
The boy I had seen running was now dead, lying motionless in the sand, along with three other boys who had been playing there. …We arrived at the scene to find lifeless, mangled bodies. The boys were beyond help. They had been killed instantly, and the people who had rushed to them were shocked and distraught. … small metal shack with no electricity or running water on a jetty in the blazing seaside sun does not seem like the kind of place frequented by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces’ intended targets. Children, maybe four feet (1,20m) tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either.
These are the places those evil civilians had been when getting murdered (red circles)
Several weeks after the attack – announcing it was launching investigations into a number of controversial incidents in which civilians died – the military advocate general’s office briefed more than a dozen journalists. The senior Israeli officer was asked by reporters then if investigators would seek to contact all witnesses. The officer replied in the affirmative.In reality, however, it appears no effort was made to contact a number of the journalists who witnessed the incident – including this correspondent.Now let's see the result of the most moral army's "investigation":
Israel exonerates itself over Gaza beach #killings of four #children last year
attack that killed boys aged between nine and 11 was ‘tragic #accident’
in findings contradictory to #journalists’
reports from scene.
The Israeli military has cleared itself of culpability in one of the most controversial incidents in last summer’s Gaza war: a missile attack that killed four children on Gaza beach and injured a number of others.
An account of the investigation, posted late on Thursday by military spokesman Lt Col Peter #Lerner
, said the strike had targeted a “compound” which had been known as belonging to #Hamas’s
Naval Police and Naval Force (including naval commandos)”.But journalists who attended the scene in the immediate aftermath of the attack – including a reporter from the Guardian – saw a small and dilapidated fisherman’s hut containing a few tools where the children had been playing hide-and-seek.
Mohammad Ramiz Bakr, 11, Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakariya Ahed Bakr, both 10, and Ismail Mahmoud Bakr, nine, were killed when they were hit by explosive rounds. Three of them died as they sought to flee the beach after the first child was killed.
Three other people were injured in the attack: Hamad Bakr, 13, was hit by shrapnel in his chest; his cousin Motasem, 11, injured in his head and legs, and Mohammad Abu Watfah, 21, who was hit by shrapnel in his stomach.
The conclusion of the Israeli military investigation comes while the Israel is under a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court to establish whether war crimes were committed during the Gaza war – both by Israel and Hamas. The finding will inevitably raise questions over the way in which Israel investigates incidents in which civilians were killed.
So it is the perfect time to join the Bakr family who was freed of four Kids a year after to see how they are today:
Sharifa Bakr sits in front of posters commemorating Ahed and Zachariah Bakr, photo by Dan Cohen
The living #martyr, a visit to the Bakr family in Gaza
… 12-year-old Muntasir Bakr was one of the four boys who narrowly survived the airstrikes.
“We call him the living martyr,” Sharifa Bakr told me.
Muntasir was hit with #shrapnel
which still remains in his head and causes him #headaches
. He has severe #trauma
that remains undiagnosed and #untreated
, and has violent episodes which have caused him to attempt #suicide
and attack his siblings. I sat with Muntasir in his family’s home. He was polite and good-natured but the trauma from last summer was visible on his young face and audible in his voice. He spoke like a man who had lived many lifetimes – not like a child nearing his teenage years.
“Everyday someone dies. I went to play at the beach yesterday and I couldn’t because I was overwhelmed with fear. It’s a life full of sadness,” he said. “Netanyahu destroyed life.”
Unbeknownst to me, his father had told him to recount the massacre on the beach. “We barely started playing when the first missile exploded right next to my cousin Ismael,” he said. “We started running away and then I told them ‘lets go back and get Ismael then we’ll run away again.’ When we did that another missile exploded right next to us. My brother and my nephew died because they let go of my hand. Two missiles exploded around me. It was foggy when we were running, I turned around and saw my nephew and brother lying on the ground.”
“Before the war, I wanted to be a fisherman like my father,” Muntasir told me. “Now I want to be a fighter so that I can avenge my brother, my nephew and my cousins. Imagine if you were a child and a missile exploded right beside you. What would you do?”
Muntasir became despondent and silent as he looked down. His father, 55-year-old Subhei Fares Bakr, told me Muntasir had not slept in 24 hours. He attempted to medicate his son but Muntasir was not responsive and the pill fell out of his mouth. Subhei Bakr called a cousin over to help put the pill down his throat, but Muntasir began shaking violently. His cousin restrained him from injuring himself, and finally Muntasir passed out. His cousin lifted Muntasir’s limp body into his arms and ran down the stairs and outside into Shati camp’s dusty alleyways. I ran closely behind as they hailed a taxi. We crammed inside and the car sped through the streets of Gaza City. “Get out of the way,” another cousin in the front seat screamed at traffic.
We arrived at a barebones medical facility where Muntasir was laid down on an examination table. A #doctor
administered smelling salts, immediately waking Muntasir. Still dazed, his cousin helped him walk to a sink where he washed his face. Muntasir was weak and his cousin once again carried him out.
“There’s no #medicine
for him here. We have to get him out of Gaza,” Muntasir’s cousin told me as he carried him away. We hailed another taxi and headed back to the Bakr’s home in Shati camp.
“This time wasn’t as bad as it usually is,” Subhei Bakr told me.
Every aspect of the Bakr family’s lives have been consumed by Israeli violence. They are refugees expelled to Gaza in the Nakba and have lived in the confines of Shati refugee camp for generations. Living displaced, the family flourished into proud fishermen, but Israel’s naval #blockade
has crushed Gaza’s fishing industry, rendering the clan impoverished and forced to pass the days sitting in the camp’s dusty streets. Eight other Bakr family members attempted to flee on boats but died in the sea in which they used to fish.
If that wasn’t enough, the wanton violence of “Operation Protective Edge” condemned Ismail, Zachariah, Ahed and Mohammed Bakr to death. As predictable as it is disturbing, the Israeli military has brazenly absolved itself of responsibility, calling the bombing ”tragic.”
But are we to believe that given Israel’s world-class military #technology
equipped with high-resolution cameras, that they were unable to differentiate between armed men and small children playing soccer? Especially considering that Israel killed at least 536 more Palestinian children last summer – none of whose deaths received the lip service of being called tragic. It is only fitting that Ayelet #Shaked
, who demanded genocide last summer when she posted a text calling Palestinian children “little snakes,” is Israel’s newest #Minister
of Justice. All of this is in the greater context of Palestinian #children
being demonized as various versions of a “demographic threat” (New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren’s most recent euphemism is “demographic death warrant.”)
While we may never know why exactly Israel decided to bomb the #Bakr
children as they played soccer last July, it is abundantly clear that neither the Israeli government nor its supporters have any genuine sympathy for Ahed, Zachariah, Ismail, Mohammed, or the four survivors. If Peter Lerner or any Israeli official who shed a crocodile tear did, at a bare minimum, they would allow Muntasir Bakr to receive the treatment he so desperately needs. Sadly, Muntasir’s brutal honesty was likely accurate when he told me, “There will never be peace with the Israelis.”http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/living-martyr-familyWhen the victim is #undermensch you can justify everything. Gaza has 4 little Palestinian snakes less and raised