Israeli forces kill two children in occupied Gaza Strip

From the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, June 1:

Israeli army fire kills two children in northern Gaza

GAZA — Israeli soldiers stationed in northern Gaza Strip shot dead on Friday afternoon two Palestinian children, paramedics and eyewitnesses said.

The witnesses said that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two Palestinian children, 10 and 8 years old, who were playing on the beach near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia.

After the two children were shot in the chest and the abdomen, they called for an ambulance to come to the area before their deaths, added the witnesses.

Local paramedics said that the bodies of the two children were evacuated from the area by a Palestinian ambulance and were taken to the nearby Kamal Odwan hospital.

The Israeli army forces are stationed in the Palestinian-controlled area north of the town in northern Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent Palestinian militant groups from launching homemade rockets at Israel.

The children were reportedly in the vicinity of the destoyed Israeli settlement of Dugit, looking for scrap metal, according to the Israeli paper Ynet on June 1:

The Palestinians claimed that the children were looking for aluminum and iron to sell in the market. Since the evacuation of settlements in Gaza, many Palestinians have been looking for building materials in the area and selling them in order to buy food.

The soldiers assumed that the two Palestinians were attempting to plant an explosive device in the area and fired at them.

Palestinians organizations said that no cell was operating in the area and that the IDF was claiming that gunmen approached the fence in order to justify shots fired for no real reason.

The Israeli army discounts the Palestinian version:

IDF officials noted, however, that terror organizations and Palestinian groups had distributed false information in the past few weeks claiming the IDF fired and hurt civilians.

If that’s so, it’s not on the IDF’s website. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports that Israeli fire killed 19 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, and wounded 67, mostly civilians, in the Occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank from May 24-30.

See our last post on Israel/Palestine.

  1. Boycott Britain
    Thanks for posting this. I’ll do a post on it on my own blog. But I have to do a post on this first. I just received the following in an email:

    Dear Friend of Israel,

    You have received this email because you are someone who cares about the one and only Jewish State. This is not your typical urban-legend “chain email”. This is about a real political issue— the growing British boycott of Israel.

    The chief union of British university professors has just voted to boycott Israel and to urge its members to terminate their relations with Israeli faculty and researchers. Worse, Britain’s largest and most influential union of government employees is expected to enact its own boycott later in June. Beyond symbolism, this could have significant long-term consequences for the Israeli economy, and will certainly embolden other European unions to implement their own boycotts and divestment campaigns. Developments in Britain thus threaten to set off a chain reaction that would marginalize Israel and suffocate its export-oriented economy.

    The British government has officially opposed these actions; however, it is not blameless in the matter. In the name of “Mideast even-handedness”, it has blocked and hindered exports of essential arms and spare parts to Israel since around 2001. It also raised a scandal upon discovering that a U.S. military cargo plane, transporting ammunition to Israel during last year’s war with Hezbollah, had used a British airfield to refuel. (It seems that nothing has changed from 60 years ago, when some British units and volunteers fought side-by-side with the Arabs to destroy Israel during its War of Independence).

    These are not the actions of a friendly state. It is clear that both the British government and Britain’s public-sector elites are opposed to Israel’s right to self-defense, and therefore, its right to exist.

    However, a boycott can be a two-way street. While the State of Israel, with its tiny population and economy, cannot respond in kind, we in North America can.

    So until Britain changes its attitude and policies 180-degrees, please do not travel to Britain, do not partake of British products or brands (e.g. HSBC Bank, Reebok, Umbro, Burberry, French Connection, Virgin Megastores, Cadbury, Amstrad, Invensys), do not spend money on British movies or music, do not fly on any British airline (e.g. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic), and, if this applies to you, consider limiting your business with British nationals, divesting your British assets, and/or voting against tenure for British faculty in your department.

    Also, please write the British Embassy and Consulates in protest, ask your Congressman for a statement on the issue, and pass along this email to as many friends of Israel (and websites and blogs) as you can.

    Whatever you do, please do not sit by idly. Let them know that their hateful, pro-terrorist actions have consequences, and will not be ignored on this side of the Atlantic. Together, we can make a difference.

    Thank you,

    A Fellow Friend of Israel

  2. Palestinian group’s investigation
    According to investigations conducted by Palestinian Center for Human Rights:

    At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 1 June 2007, an IOF infantry unit positioned on a wooden land in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, nearly 100 meters away from the beach, opened fire at four Palestinian children, who were playing with kites near the beach. Three children were wounded, whereas the fourth one was able to escape. Two of the children were left in the area bleeding to death. According to the third child who was wounded, 16-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim al-‘Atawna, from Jabalya refugee camp, a kite fell near the area where IOF soldiers were hiding, and when they went to bring it, IOF soldiers opened fire at them. Soon after, the soldiers moved towards the children. They asked al-‘Atwana, who was wounded by a gunshot to the back, about the condition of the other two children who were wounded by several gunshots throughout their bodies. He told them that the children were in a critical condition. They left the two children bleeding to death in the area and evacuated al-‘Atawna to an Israeli hospital, where he had received medical treatment before he was transferred to a hospital in Beit Lahia. The two children who were killed were identified as:

    1) Zaher Jaber Mohammed al-Majdalawi, 14; and
    2) Ahmed Sabri Aba Zbaida, 14, both from Jabalya refugee camp.