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Issue #1588      April 10, 2013

Murder remains Israel’s preferred response

Last week two unarmed teenagers, cousins Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Abdul-Karim Balbeisi, 18, were shot dead by Israeli Defence Force troops. The two were from the village of Anabta, near the town of Tulkarm in Palestine’s West Bank.

Tulkarm was founded in the 13th century; its name derived from the Aramaic “toor karma” meaning “mount of vineyards.” Amer died from a bullet in his chest at 10.30pm on the Wednesday, according to witnesses.

Hearing shots, three boys from the village went out and found Amer lying on the ground, with soldiers standing over him. When they tried to reach him, the soldiers opened fire, injuring one, Fadi Abu-A’sr, in the arm. He was subsequently taken to hospital.

The three say that ambulance crews were prevented from reaching Amer for 30 vital minutes, with soldiers threatening to shoot anyone who attempted to intervene. Deiyaa’ Nasser, who did attempt to reach Amer, “was arrested by the Israeli army and taken to an unknown location.”

Balbeisi was found as dawn broke the following morning, lying in a field. He was reported to have been shot from behind. Tensions have been high in Gaza and the West Bank since the death of Maysara Abu Hamidya in Israel’s Soroko prison on April 2. Hamidya was a former high-ranking officer in the Palestinian Authority (PA) prior to his arrest, which took place when Israel invaded the West Bank and destroyed PA headquarters in May 2002.

Palestinian authorities have claimed that the prison was withholding treatment for Hamidya’s cancer. A released prisoner’ Ayman Sharawna’ alleged that Hamdiya was in a life-threatening condition in the prison infirmary but still had his hands and feet shackled.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society has held the Israeli regime fully responsible for his death. So as Palestinians mark the anniversary of another onslaught – the massacre in the Jenin refugee camp of April 1-11, 2002 – the mourning, heartbreak, lost lives and lost youth grind on.

But so does the spirit of this unconquerable people.

Amer left a poem. While others of his age write on Facebook of their dreams, aspirations, exams, plans, dates and travels, on March 15 in his last entry he wrote:

“Point your bullet where ever you like in my body I will die today, but my homeland will live tomorrow. Be careful, Palestine is a red line.”

He did not die on March 15, but just two weeks and three days later, at the hands of “the most moral army” and the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

The writer is indebted to a resident of Palestine who drew attention to and translated Amer’s poem and to the International Solidarity Movement for its gathering of details on the ground in the village of Anabta.

Morning Star  

Next article – Venezuelan elections down to the wire

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