Death and Birth in Gaza: A Story of a Shepherd
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
When you do not distinguish between combatants and unarmed civilians during war, then you deserve to be named a ‘terrorist.’ It makes no difference what your religion is!
That is exactly what happened thousands of miles away and two days before last Christmas, when Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian shepherd in the back and injured two others. A 14 year old suffered a serious head injury and another 19 year old was injured in his hand.
The shooting took place in the Northern part of Gaza near the town of Beit Lahia. Israel considered the area a war zone, Palestinians called it home.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the shooting, adding “The soldiers fired warning shot and aimed at the lower body.” Not only was that unprovoked and cold blooded murder, but rather a naked lie by the Israeli spin machine.
It took a quick search on the story to find out what the so-called “most moral army” actually did to the 22 year old Palestinian shepherd, Salamah Abu Hashish. My search reveals shocking and inhumane details. After the Palestinian medics arrived at the seen, they were denied permission by the Israeli soldiers to aid or remove the victims.
A nearby metal scraper was able to move Abu Hashish on the back of his donkey into the Kamal Udwan Hospital in Gaza where he died. Hospital officials said, one bullet went through his kidney.
The sad fact is Abu Hashish’s wife gave birth to their first child the night before, and the couple have not even chosen a name to their child.
He was the 13th Gazan to be killed by Israeli soldiers since last November and the 35 to suffer injuries near the border.
The shooting was condemned by Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. Mr. Serry urged Israel to show “maximum restriant,” andding “I am distressed that incidents such as these continue in the perimeter area of Gaza, and deplore the killing of one apparently unarmed Palestinian civilian and the injuring of a number of others by Israel.”
Despite the UN official appeal, 48 hours later, Israeli troops once again shot a 26-year-old Gaza fisherman twice, once in each foot. He was identified as AZ, and his injures were described by Palestinian medical officials as light. Now you have a young lady who suddenly became a widow with an orphanage to care for and whose child will never know his/her father, a 14 year old boy with his life in the balance and a disabled fisherman who will no longer be able to stand on his feet or help feed his family.
Keep in mind, Israel was able and continues to commit these crimes with our tax-dollars and our government’s total silence. Israel knows exactly who butters her bread! Just when your children abuse their spending money, you will certainly lecture them about how to be responsible and act wisely. Not US officials, though, who are too fearful of Israel to act, even in accordance to their country’s own laws.
It is therefore vital that readers who are incensed by the aforementioned atrocities by Israeli soldiers against unarmed Palestinians to express their concern to the embassy of Israel at our national capitol via email at [email protected].
Israel should cease its war crimes against Palestinians, obey the rules that the rest of the world’s civilized nations follow and end the illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza.
– Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a retired USAF veteran. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: [email protected].