World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Six Armed Palestinians Killed in Tulkarem

"Six Armed Palestinians Killed in Tulkarem" Last Night ?

According to Ha'aretz Daily on-line Sunday evening: "Six armed Palestinians were killed by Border Police undercover troops in the West Bank town of Tul Karm on Sunday... Military sources said the six were members of Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and were on their way to carry out a terror attack… A gunbattle ensued in which six of the militants were killed, including two local leaders of the group." (See the rest of the Ha'aretz article pasted below)

This Ha'aretz description bears little resemblance to what happened on the ground. Six Palestinians were assassinated 100 meters from the ISM apartment where three ISM volunteers were staying at the time. Only two of the six Palestinians assassinated were members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. According to reliable sources in Tulkarem, the other four were simply innocent bystanders.

The Ha'aretz account, which relies on Israeli military sources, distorts reality by portraying all the victims as members of the armed resistance, by suggesting that Palestinians opened fire and were about to carry out a "terror attack", by failing to note the killing of four Palestinian civilians and the wounding of at least three others and the denial of access for Palestinian medical personnel.

This account in Ha'aretz, probably the most reputable Israeli newspaper, presents an inaccurate description to Israelis and to the world of one Israeli military operations in the Occupied Territories and of how Palestinians experience Israeli military occupation. The Ha'aretz account is complicit in covering up brutal Israeli military killings of four innocent Palestinian civilians. The hundreds of stories of this type that are printed every year, where every Palestinian killed is a "militant" on his way to carry out a "terror attack", portray an entirely different reality from what occurs on the ground daily. This type of one-sided reporting dehumanizes Palestinians and covers up Israeli military crimes rather than increasing readers' knowledge and understanding.

1. "Six members of Al Aqsa Brigades" ?: Of the six who were assassinated, only two were members of Al Aqsa Brigades. Hani Awaida (27 years old) and Mahdi Tambouz (25) were well-known leaders of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Tulkarem who the Israeli military had tried to kill or capture many times. For example, about three weeks ago ISM volunteers visited a barber shop shortly after six Palestinians were arrested (including two barbers) by Israeli soldiers only minutes after Mahdi had left the shop. All said that the soldiers were looking for Mahdi that day.

Sayed Abu Qumra (24 years old) and Ahmed Barouq (26), both killed, were both civilians who happened to be in the area visiting friends. They had no relationship to armed resistance.

Abderrahim Hassan Shadid (34) was also killed. He was an agent in the Palestinian security services who may have been walking through the area to go to a nearby police station. He was reportedly on his cellphone with colleagues telling them that something was happening when the line went dead.

18 year old Mohammed Shanti was our next door neighbor. He had just succeeded in passing his high school graduation exam a few weeks ago. Mohammed had no relationship with the Palestinian resistance.

2. "A gunbattle ensued" ?: From 100 meters away ISMers heard all the shooting. There was one long burst of shooting, a short burst, and then minutes later another medium length burst. The sound of all the gunshots was the same. They were all fired from the same type of weapon, all Israeli weapons. There was no sound of shooting from Palestinian weapons. Witnesses confirmed that there was no Palestinian shooting, saying that the six were shot suddenly and at close range by Israeli special forces in a Palestinian-plated car before any of them could react.

3. "Six armed Palestinians" ? Two of the six may have been armed. Though witnesses saw no evidence of weapons, Palestinian sources suggests that it is possible that Mahdi and Hani were armed at the time, as they frequently were armed. If they had any weapons, the Israeli army must have taken them as there were no weapons near the bodies when soldiers withdrew.

Security agent Abderrahim Shadid was unarmed, as were the other three civilians who were killed.

4. "On their way to carry out a terror attack" ? Awaida and Tambouz were standing by the side of the street eating when they were assassinated. The Israeli army has tried multiple times over the last months to kill Awaida and Tambouz, who are members of the Palestinian armed resistance. There is no reason to believe that at the moment they were killed they were about to carry out an attack. This just happened to be the moment when soldiers were, once again, tipped off by a collaborator as to their whereabouts.

Crucial Points Ommitted from the Ha'aretz Article

In addition to failing to note that four of the six Palestinians assassinated were innocent civilians, Ha'aretz did not report on these points:

5. Israeli soldiers deny access for Palestinians medical personnel: The Israeli military prevented Palestinian medical personnel from reaching the area and treating the men who were shot for at least 20 – 30 minutes. For at least 15 of those minutes three ISMers wearing florescent orange vests were standing in view of an Israel soldier and about 70 meters from and in view of the body of 18 year old Mohammed Shanti, who was dying in the street. The ISMers shouted that he needed medical care. In response at one point an Israeli soldier aimed his laser rifle sight at the chest of an ISMer.

6. Three other civilians wounded by Israeli gunfire: In addition to the four civilians who were killed, at least three other civilians were wounded by the random Israeli gunfire. Ten year old Mohsen Na'im was shot in the leg. 60 year old Khalil Zeidan was shot in the back while sitting on the street, and 19 year old Hashim Jarrad was shot in the wrist while attempting to seek cover inside his uncle's barber shop.

I don't think we will have the heart to tell our neighbors that Ha'aretz reported to the world that their assassinated eighteen year old son, Mohammed, who just graduated from high school and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time was a dangerous terrorist.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news