The United Nations has declared 2014 as "Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People". This morning, I began my day by reading a message from Israeli peace activist and a face-book friend of mine whose name is Tali Shapiro. Miss Shapiro was arrested in the past so many times by the IDF, you would think she is a Palestinian already! Tali's message was about the 6th Palestinian killed by Israeli Defense for the year 2014. Here is the text:
"On January 8, 2014 IDF conducted a targeted killing by a drone strike on al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza. The victim's body has been torn apart by the blast and his limbs were ripped by shrapnel."
Upon further reading, I found out the latest victim was 32 years old, married, and, based on my contact information in Gaza, he left behind a 24 year old wife, and three daugthers: Raza, 6 years, Roaa, 2 years and Fatima Al-Zahraa, 6 months.
The victim was Mohammad Al-Ijlah, a member of the Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigade who, along with Hamas, has signed a cease-fire agreement with Israel in 2012.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military told Agence France Presse (AFP) the following: "We did not strike in Gaza today and we are unaware of any incident involving tanks or other shooting." Based on this statement to the press, it is easy to conclude that victim was not preparing to fire rockets at Israel nor did he poses a threat to anyone.
On November 21, 2012, Israel and all Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza signed a cease-fire agreement. The deal was negotiated by Egypt along with the US consultation. Israel has as of this writing, violated the truce for 149 times.
According to the agreement, Israel and all Palestinian groups agreed to halt "all hostilities." For the Palestinians, that meant an end to Israeli targeted killings. For Israel, it brought a halt to rocket fire across the border with Gaza.
By targeting the latest victim in Gaza, Israel was clearly in violation of the truce agreement. Keep in mind, extrajudicial assassinations are a violation of the Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel in 1951. However, Israel continues to implement this tactic as a matter of policy, often killing and injuring scores of innocent bystanders, thus terrorizing 1.5 million Palestinian residents of Gaza.
Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are also terrorized on a daily basis by illegal Jewish settlers, who frequently attack villagers and farmers, uproot their olive trees, destroy their crops and throw stones at their children on the way to and from schools. All this takes place with the Israeli soldiers standing nearby without making arrest to the violent settlers, taking their names or removing them from the area. Basically, the Israeli military provide a "security entourage" to the real terrorists, despite the fact it is the duty of the occupying power to protect the occupied people.
By targeting Palestinians for extrajudicial killings, Israel is not only acting as a judge, jury, and prosecutor, but also following the infamous notion, "kill them all; and let God sort them out". Since the U.N. called for it this year to be a year of solidarity with the people of Palestine; Stand against terrorism. Boycott Israel!
Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a retired USAF veteran.
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