Saturday, 28 May. 2022
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Over the past two weeks, the world has been observing with admiration the reservist Israeli soldiers who have refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza due to Israeli inhumanity and violations in dealing with Palestinians. Although these soldiers only seem to reflect a small minority within Israel's military institution, their voices have been heard, ignored, praised and contradicted by the Israeli public. While these brave soldiers have taken a stance for human rights, other Israeli soldiers are committing inhuman atrocities towards a captive Palestinian population, without the slightest cloud of guilt or morality.

On Tuesday, February 12th, 2002, the autopsy of 14-year old Samer Abu Mayala was released. Samer, a Palestinian child residing in occupied east Jerusalem had been pronounced dead on Friday February 8th. Israeli officials have stated the boy died of a weak heart during questioning by Israeli soldiers. Palestinian medical reports (the autopsy of Dr. Jabery), however, tell a different story.

According to the autopsy: "Examination of Samer's internal organs indicated that he had been shot: his liver was fragmented and a bullet path was traced from Samer's liver towards his heart; the bullet was found in his abdomen where it had fallen. A hole was found in the left side of Samer's underpants, and examination of his buttocks showed that the bullet had entered him from the lower left side of his buttocks. Examination revealed that Samer was shot either while bending over at a 90-degree angle, or by someone below him pointing their gun upwards. He was shot at a distance of 30 cm to 1 meter."

This is not the first time Israeli soldiers commit cowardly crimes against unarmed children, let alone take the life of a child in such a humiliating and torturous manner. Two months, ago five children (all from one family (El-Astal)) were blown to pieces on their way to school; Israel "justified" it as "a tragic mistake." Iman Hijo, a 4-month old baby, was shot in her mother's lap and Mohammed Al-Durrah, a 12-year-old, was killed in his father's arms. While these horrendous incidents received wide publicity, others escaped the hearts and minds of the international community; the number of Palestinian children (under 16) killed by Israeli soldiers has reached 246. Each single case exposes an ugly story of a child murdered and abused.

The murder of Samer is being distorted by declaring the 14-year old boy as "someone who had participated in operations in Jerusalem;" a declaration that came out after the autopsy proved he was shot. He had fallen victim to a guiltless group of soldiers, who went out of their way to inflict unimaginable pain on a child.

These soldiers need to face justice, and be held accountable to their crimes. While the Israeli government continues to protect them, there is rising concern that further such atrocities will continue until international silence is broken and immediate concrete steps are taken.

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