December 16, 2006

Death sentence for throwing stones?

Well it wasn't a death sentence. This was a Palestinian child so Israel's death sentence hung over him ever since he was born. Here's Gideon Levy's take on yet another child murder by a soldier of the Israeli army:
What is now going through the mind of the soldier who fired a loaded weapon at a boy on the Sunday before last - and killed him? What was he thinking when he aimed at the boy's head? Is he still thinking about his victim? Why does live ammunition have to be used against children, even if they are throwing stones at a armored vehicles? Don't the soldiers have other means of punishment? And what about the security cabinet's decision to promote calm in the West Bank, too?

On December 3, after all, the security cabinet decided that arrests in the West Bank would henceforth be made only with the authorization of the GOC Central Command - but apparently, in order to fire at the head of a boy and kill him, no authorization is required. It's enough to get out of the jeep, aim and fire. The Israel Defense Forces, we know, opposes a cease-fire in the West Bank, too.

Jamil Jabaji, 14, the "boy of the horses" from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus, had been throwing stones at an IDF Hummer making its way toward the camp, and a soldier killed him in cold blood. The vehicle was moving slowly, according to the children's testimony, stopping every once in a while, in what the youngsters thought was a type of provocation, as though trying to lure them closer, until it stopped and two soldiers stepped out, aiming their weapons at them. No teargas, not even rubber-coated bullets. Live fire. A death sentence for stone-throwing.
No, a death penalty. The sentence was passed long ago in spite of Anthony Julius's pleas for clemency.

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