MILITARY CAMP, West Bank - Mohammed, 14, barely glanced at the Israeli
military judge as he was led shuffling into the cramped courtroom, his
legs in shackles.
The Palestinian boy had eyes only for his
father, and mouthed the traditional Arabic greeting: Salaam Alaikum” -
peace be upon you. Seven minutes later he was sentenced to four months
The prosecutor said the boy had hurled rocks at
a watchtower and at Israel’s separation barrier in the occupied West
Bank. Upon his attorney’s advice, the boy pleaded guilty to avoid
spending even more time behind bars.
Human rights groups
say Mohammed’s case is typical for alleged child offenders under the
military law Israel imposes on the Palestinian territory.
of March 31, 324 Palestinian children were held in Israeli prisons,
according to the Geneva-based Defense for Children International (DCI),
an international rights group. With conviction rates above 95 percent,
Mohammed didn’t stand much of a chance, said his lawyer, Iyad Misk.
Israeli military trials are a sham. As a lawyer, I’d prefer not
take part in this charade, but I still try to help the children. For a
lawyer, it’s a moral dilemma,” Misk said outside the trailer at the
Ofer military camp where his young client was sentenced. The trials,
conducted in Hebrew and translated into Arabic, generally last just a
few minutes. Lawyers are at times denied access to documents, when
military officials classify the evidence as secret.
of the children never get a trial, but are held without charges under
“administrative orders” that can run up to six months and be renewed
“Everything in military courts is designed in favor of the
occupation,” said Khaled Quzmar, who coordinates DCI’s legal unit in
the West Bank.
say as many as 50 percent of jailed Palestinian children are held for
throwing rocks. The favorite targets are security forces in watchtowers
or armored vehicles, and the walls, barbed wire and fences that prevent
free travel to Israel and within the West Bank.
CITY (AFP) - Hundreds of mourners attended a funeral on Thursday for a
Palestinian cameraman from the Reuters news service who was killed by
an Israeli tank shell in the Gaza Strip.
Mourners carried the body of Fadel Shana, 23,
draped in a Palestinian flag, from Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital to a
Alongside the body others held aloft a stretcher bearing his
was killed on Wednesday by a shell fired from an Israeli tank he was
filming from several hundred metres (yards) away during a military
incursion into Gaza
that killed 17 other Palestinians, Reuters said.
He had been standing next to a jeep clearly marked with "TV" and
"Press" stickers, Reuters said.
not miss what is being said, here. An Israeli tank fires upon a clearly
marked press vehicle that is on Palestinian land with a shell that
scatters deadly darts over a wide area and is illegal under
international law. There is only one purpose for such a shell--to cause
as much death and injury as possible to as many as possible in a short
amount of time.(...)
Get it through your heads, people.
These are the actions of psychopaths who are enjoying the mayhem they
are creating in Palestine while hiding behind a wall of political
protection for Israel. Few dare call Israel exactly what it is--a rogue
state run by psychopaths--for fear of being called anti-Semitic, but
that is the truth of the State of Israel.
Israeli military was silent last night on whether it planned to launch
the "swift, honest, and impartial investigation" into Mr Shana's death,
urged by David
Shlesinger, the editor-in-chief of Reuters News, who said the
medical evidence underlined the case for such an inquiry.
by lemon trees on one side and an olive grove on the other, the country
lane leading to Joher Al Dik, where Fadel Shana was killed doing his
job, was all but deserted yesterday afternoon. But two teenage boys
from the Nusseirat refugee camp displayed half a dozen of the dull,
black, inch-long darts which they said they had found among the cactus
growing along the verge opposite where Mr Shana had parked his
unarmoured SUV to film a tank on Wednesday afternoon.