Land Day Looting
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel"—Ezekiel 37:11
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The kid was one of the 27 Palestinian children detained by the IDF in Hebron, on March 27. That day, the IDF prepared an illegitimate ambush near Blockade 160, a checkpoint in the H2 area of downtown Hebron, next to the Settler area. At a certain moment, the cowards left their hiding place and arrested everybody in the area, including 27 children. Even the IDF recognizes that all violence originated in its forces that were waiting to see something—anything—flying to arrest everybody in the area under the claim that they were throwing stones. 18 of the arrested children were below 12. A soldier approached Ahmad and told him to put the cookie he was eating in his backpack. Then, he forcibly took him to the roadblock; the kid said afterwards that he was afraid and cried. At the roadblock, all the children were put under surveillance of a policeman in a closed yard. They were denied even water. A few hours afterwards, children above 12 were taken to the police station in Kiryat Arba, Hebron's settler enclave, and from there to Ofer Prison. The policeman interrogated the group of small children, attempting to force them to acknowledge that they have thrown stones. The children denied all accusations. After an unspecified amount of time, they were taken in three jeeps to a different roadblock, where they were given to the Palestinian police. Following several additional hours, the small kids were released; the older ones remained in prison. This is not a new policy; in the 1990s, I met Palestinian children jailed in the Far'aa Shin Beth prison near Nablus. That torture complex has been dismantled since then.
How evil is evil? Most children prosecuted in Israeli military courts are charged with throwing stones. This is an offence under Section 212 of Military Order 1651. It says: (i) Throwing an object, including a stone, at a person or property with the intent to harm the person or property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Wasn't this enough for reporting on a regular-length Land Day? What else could Israel perpetrate? A related event took place during the second week of last December. The IDF stormed the offices of three Palestinian NGOs. A-Damir, a human rights organization focusing on prisoners, the Union of Women's Committees, and an office belonging to the network of Palestinian NGOs (PNGO). The three locations are within Ramallah; shortly before it attacked in the middle of the night, the IDF reported the planned event to the Palestinian Police, though without providing the list of the addressed organizations. Around 1AM, 9 IDF vehicles were spotted entering the city from three directions. Palestinian forces followed them and filmed them entering the abovementioned institutions and leaving them with boxes full of booty. Youngsters seeing the theft threw stones at the attackers; the IDF fired gas grenades at them and left the place.
The proper way to finish this horrific report is by quoting Israeli press in the aftermath of the incredible booty stolen by the IDF. Haaretz said, "The word 'terror' silences every criticism before it is uttered, it allows the Israeli public not to think about this routine of the military bureaucracy that oils its wheels in raids and creates a voyeur collection of any available piece of information. Every occupation regime in the world did the same as a proven technique for oppressing the occupied people. Those thinking that the IDF and the Shin Beth are free of them is mistaken. Those thinking that these methods will achieve their goals, to silence Palestinians opposing Israeli occupation, are mistaken."
"I have been to Palestine where I’ve witnessed the racially segregated housing and the humiliation of Palestinians at military roadblocks. I can’t help but remember the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid. We could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world using the nonviolent means of boycotts and divestment to compel governments and institutions to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime." —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
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