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In Gaza, Israel is shooting fish in a barrel

A man with no legs, shot in the head, is the perfectly harrowing metaphor for life in Gaza, and for Palestinians on a whole. Helpless, Static. Stunted.

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Israeli soldiers shot in the head and killed Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, 29, a man with no legs, who was holding a Palestinian flag near the Gaza border fence on Friday.

Abu Thurayeh, who according to several sources lost his legs and vision in one eye during an Israeli air strike in 2008 during Operation Cast Lead, was killed by Israeli soldiers while protesting along the Gaza border fence along with some 3,500 other Palestinians.

Following the incident, the IDF Spokesperson’s official statement to press read as follows: “During the violent riots, IDF soldiers fired selectively towards the main instigators.” (emphasis mine)

The IDF “selectively” chose to shoot a man behind a fence — a man who cannot run, who appeared only to be armed with a flag and his voice. Abu Thurayeh is the perfectly harrowing metaphor for the state of life for Palestinians in Gaza, and for Palestinians on a whole. Helpless, Static. Stunted.

And his killing perfectly sums up Israel’s treatment of Palestinians: monstrous.

What threat could he have possibly posed that merits a bullet in the head? It is unfathomable. In Gaza, Israel is shooting fish in a barrel.

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I cannot get this story out of my head. And there have many others like it in recent days.

In the last 10 days since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there has been a flood of violent, graphic, harrowing images of Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces in Gaza, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem. Many of the images are of teenage boys as well as minors. Children.

There was the photo of a Palestinian teenager, assaulted, blindfolded, handcuffed, and surrounded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers. The photo went viral.

There were videos of Palestinian children as young as seven and eight being dragged away by Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth during a protest against Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Hebron, West Bank, December 7, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth during a protest against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Hebron, West Bank, December 7, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

There was the video of Israeli soldiers stopping a Red Crescent ambulance at gunpoint and violently pulling out two teenage girls to detain them.

These acts happen all the time, but we are seeing them at increasing frequency now.

In the PR war waged by Israel and its defenders, even those who go to great lengths to present equivalency of imagery cannot produce anything that comes close — no matter how hard they try. There is simply no comparison, no matter how hard one tries to create equivalency between Israelis and Palestinians. Not in real life, and not in images.

Israel and its defenders cannot equivocate or play down the sheer brutality and coldblooded nature of their state’s actions captured in this image. It is impossible to do so, because there is only one way to understand this reality.

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    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Israel is facing with intolerance and Muslim imperialism..

      Reply to Comment
    2. Rob Davis

      3,500 demonstrators – were they evenly spaced along the border, presenting the soldiers with easily-identifiable unique ‘targets’, so they could carefully select and dispatch this particular one?
      Or, possibly they were all bunched together and this unfortunate protestor was hit by a bullet fired low into a crowd of standing demonstrators, intended to hit legs?
      I don’t know, and neither do any of the readers of this piece.
      Just saying – once again, these posts pick just enough information to make a ‘case’ – present no context, and leave it up to the readers to exercise their own ‘judgement.
      So shallow.
      Was the same ‘outrage’ expressed over rockets that targetted civilians? including the one that landed in a kindergarten – thankfully without casualties?

      The one-sidedness is breathtaking!

      And what exactly were these people protesting? the right of Israel to declare Jerusalem its capital? The right of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount?

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Rob: They were protesting being held in an open air prison (as David Cameron once said). They were protesting not being able to leave their prison without Israeli approval ( http://gisha.org/en-blog/2011/11/14/the-population-registry/ ).

        “Israel continues to control the Palestinian population registry which is common to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Any change made in these records requires Israel’s approval, including the registration of births, marriages, divorces, deaths or address changes. The Palestinian Authority may amend or issue an ID card only after Israeli approval is granted. Israel updates all the changes in its copy of the population registry, which determines who is recognized as a Palestinian resident for the purpose of travel permits.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          As soon as Hamas recognizes Israel as a Jewish State, as soon as they stop advocating the destruction of Israel everything will be easier for their entity.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “Or, possibly they were all bunched together and this unfortunate protestor was hit by a bullet fired low into a crowd of standing demonstrators, intended to hit legs?”

        Oh in that case, never mind. I mean, shooting unarmed demonstrators in the legs is standard Israeli operating procedure. For demonstrating while Arab, that is. Those poor soldiers just got unlucky. Shooting unarmed demonstrators in the legs by firing into a crowd of civilians, from behind a fence–I’m so impressed by the bravery of our brave, brave army troops. The IDF, ‘the most moral army in the world’! So brave and competent! My heart swells.

        What a sick joke. Rob Davis, you put on full display the racist contempt of the Israeli occupier.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Lewis from Afula

      If they are fish in a barrel, Israel should just empty the barrel by knocking it over and allow the nasty fish to die.

      As Feiglin said, just wait till high summer and switch off their taps.
      Wait 72 hours.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mikesailor

        Now tell me again: What is the difference between Israelis and any other racist genocidal country? After your comment I can’t see any difference.

        Reply to Comment