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Massacring Palestinians with Impunity

Israeli forces have shot and killed [1] at least three dozen unarmed Palestinians and wounded many hundreds more in the latest attack on Gaza protests:

Gaza’s Health Ministry says the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire amid mass protests near the Gaza border has reached 37, making it the deadliest day since a 2014 war with Israel.

The ministry says at least 448 Palestinians were shot and wounded Monday, while hundreds more suffered other types of injuries, including from tear gas.

The violence made it the deadliest day in Gaza since the devastating cross-border war between the territory’s Hamas rulers and Israel four years ago, and clouded the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Israeli forces have been using excessive and illegal force against unarmed protesters for weeks, but this is the worst that it has been so far this year. There is no excuse for killing unarmed protesters, and there is no justification for wounding–and sometimes crippling–unarmed people with live ammunition. Gunning down dozens of people in a single day qualifies as a massacre no matter how much anyone wants to spin it as something else. The escalation of violence has been a one-sided affair as Israeli forces have been killing unarmed Palestinians with impunity for more than a month, and the predictable claims of “self-defense” ring more hollow than ever.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported [2] last week on the severity of the injuries that their clinics have been treating:

Even though there is not a war in Gaza, the injuries sustained by our patients are terribly similar to what we see in conflict zones. We estimate that more than 39 percent of our 554 current trauma patients will require long-term rehabilitation, lasting at least until the end of the year. While the majority of our patients are young men around 20 years old, we have treated 98 children and adolescents under 18.

Ninety-one percent of our trauma patients were shot in the legs, many at close range. Several will be handicapped for life, putting tremendous pressure on the already beleaguered health system, impoverished families, and the whole society.

The injuries are similar to those seen in conflict zones because the protesters are being fired upon by Israeli soldiers using live ammunition.

The MSF report continues:

The severity of the injuries demonstrates that Israeli forces are resorting to disproportionate force to incapacitate the protesters. The result is unnecessary damage and suffering.

The report concluded by warning that “an entirely avoidable—potentially even deadlier—blood bath may be just days away.” The bloodbath that MSF feared is happening today. The death toll is likely to go higher than the 37 fatalities confirmed so far.

If it were almost any other government in the world doing this, our government would be condemning it in the strongest terms. Unfortunately, most of our political leaders will respond to the illegal and unwarranted use of lethal force against unarmed people by a U.S. client with a shrug, and as usual the Israeli government will be shielded from the consequences of its outrageous actions.

Update: The death toll has risen to at least 41 [3].

Second Update: Death toll from the massacre has risen [4] to 52. More than 2,400 injured.

Third Update:

Fourth Update:

17 Comments (Open | Close)

17 Comments To "Massacring Palestinians with Impunity"

#1 Comment By KXB On May 14, 2018 @ 9:46 am

It will not matter. Once a Middle Eastern nation is declared an “ally” of the US, they can get away with any outrageous behavior. Israel in Palestine, Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Turkey’s behavior towards the Kurds, continuing crackdowns by the Egyptian gov’t against its own people.

The Palestinians are in the same position as the Native Americans.

#2 Comment By JeffK On May 14, 2018 @ 9:55 am

Every day we see clear evidence that Israel has evolved into an immoral entity where violence is standard operating procedure to subjugate the Palestinians. And we have seen how Trump is now doing Bibi’s bidding. Where this eventually leads is unforeseen. But I doubt it will be good.

#3 Comment By SteveM On May 14, 2018 @ 9:58 am

U.S. supported slaughter of Yemenis. U.S. supported slaughter of Syrians. U.S. supported slaughter of Palestinians.

A culture of death foreign policy.

What else is new…?

#4 Comment By Reader On May 14, 2018 @ 10:02 am

Mr. Larison writes:

“Unfortunately, most of our political leaders will respond to the illegal and unwarranted use of lethal force against unarmed people by a U.S. client with a shrug, and as usual the Israeli government will be shielded from the consequences of its outrageous actions.”

Yep. We could take out “Israeli” and insert “Saudi” for the head-chopping totalitarian treatment the Saudis inflict on their own people and the genocide they are inflicting in Yemen (with huge amounts of US government support). We could have taken out “Israeli” and inserted “Iranian” when the Shah of Iran was in power. (He of course was in power because the US and British governments put him in power after they overthrew the Iranian government in the 1950s.) Would could have taken out Israeli and inserted “Iraqi” when Saddam Hussein was a great friend of the US government.

All across that part of the world, governments favored by the US government get a free pass no matter what they do. Governments disfavored by the US government get condemned no matter what they do, even if what they do is less outrageous than what the “friendly” governments do.

And US residents and government leaders wonder why millions of people in that part of the world hate the US.

#5 Comment By Hal On May 14, 2018 @ 10:21 am

I’m sure pastors Jeffress and Hagee will add insult to Palestinian injury today.

#6 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 14, 2018 @ 10:48 am

I thought that the Israelis were the”good guys?” Oh well.

#7 Comment By Mac61 On May 14, 2018 @ 12:29 pm

There will be a day — 7 years from now? — when neither Trump nor Netanyahu will be conducting foreign policy via ignorance, disregard for the truth, and indiscriminate disregard for human life. But I don’t know when, or if, either the U.S. or Israel will ever have a real discussion about the ethics of the use of force, or when war may be called just. I am sure somewhere in Israel today there are rabbis talking about Halakah, or the ethical dimensions of what just happened. The faith has always been a minority movement in a world soaked in violence to satisfy the egos of men whose lust for power has quenched the Spirit in their hearts.

#8 Comment By Cincy City Line On May 14, 2018 @ 12:37 pm

The Israelis have been doing this for a long time. Osama bin Laden said he attacked us on 9/11 because we helped the Israelis do things like this to the Palestinians, and it had already been going on for decades. A lot of Israelis are reliably reported to regard Palestinians as subhuman. The hundreds of dead and thousands of maimed are unlikely to faze them in the least.

It’s all a bloody, wasteful shambles, and it’s embarrassing and depressing that America is still involved in it. All we get for it is terror attacks, espionage against our government, corporations, and even citizens (see this weeks news), and regular Israeli raids on the US Treasury.

A lot of us really thought Trump was going to try to get us out, and now look — another two or three generations of people who will hate us because of the stupid Israel relationship. Plus, our real allies are starting to look at us like we’re out of our minds.

Good work, Mr. President. You accomplished what I would though was impossible — you made me wish I had voted for the vile, disgusting Hillary Clinton. And I can hardly wait to vote for whoever runs against you in 2020.

#9 Comment By cjayneb On May 14, 2018 @ 12:46 pm

I listened to Jeffriess speech in Jerusalem today while the violence against Palestinians was shown on the other screen. It made me want to vomit.

#10 Comment By Kurt Gayle On May 14, 2018 @ 12:53 pm

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has just reported an increase in the number of killed and wounded today: “Gaza Protests: 52 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Gunfire at Border Over 2238 wounded, over 770 from live gunfire.”

[7]

Daniel, your quote from Doctors Without Borders in the Gaza strip tells a lot about the nature of the wounds suffered by the Palestinians wounded by Israeli Army sniper fire: “Ninety-one percent of our trauma patients were shot in the legs, many at close range. Several will be handicapped for life, putting tremendous pressure on the already beleaguered health system, impoverished families, and the whole society.”

As Palestinians were being deliberately shot to death and deliberately wounded-to-cripple, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner said about the Palestinians that “those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

There seems to be little or no understanding among those in the Trump administration who remain silent about these massacres or who blame the Palestinians that the whole world is watching. The whole world! There are a lot of angry, alienated young men in the Middle East and elsewhere who see these images from Gaza and Jerusalem (the US embassy move) and who decide that they must do something.

Blow-back is on its way. Untold numbers of Americans will suffer because of our role in allowing the suffering inflicted on Palestinians today.

#11 Comment By BobS On May 14, 2018 @ 1:51 pm

“U.S. supported slaughter of Yemenis. U.S. supported slaughter of Syrians. U.S. supported slaughter of Palestinians.”

“Why do they hate us?”
George W. Bush

#12 Comment By what they want On May 14, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

“Blow-back is on its way. Untold numbers of Americans will suffer because of our role in allowing the suffering inflicted on Palestinians today.”

That may be the goal. When US support or interest slackens, count on Israel to warm things up, whether by shooting a couple hundred children with live ammunition, or by grabbing a few dozen homes, bulldozing them, and building a new settlement for their new Russian majority population.

#13 Comment By John Doez On May 14, 2018 @ 3:35 pm

You have to ask why is Israel escalating at this moment in time?
Opportunistically, they are looking to provoke a response from the Muslim world – such as terror attacks in the West – which will then allow them to start bombing Iran with impunity, as well as a potential land invasion with US forces.
The same tactic worked perfectly before with the Iraq invasion.
Trump has been bought off and unfortunately Amen Corner will always support another war in the Middle East.

#14 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On May 14, 2018 @ 3:56 pm

“The only democracy in the Middle East.”

Bah.

#15 Comment By Sophistry On May 14, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

At this point, given the conditions in Gaza and the report that it will be uninhabitable within two years, they might as well take the entire population, all two million, and walk across. Tens of thousands would be killed. But tens of thousands would die anyways. What do they have to lose?

#16 Comment By cka2nd On May 14, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

I wonder if Bill Maher will have anything to say about this situation, or will he just let his earlier comments describing Palestinians as “perpetually hostile, a coiled snake” stand?

#17 Comment By Mel Profit On May 14, 2018 @ 6:11 pm

It is odious to compare atrocities as if bathing beauties. Dead is dead, whether by bomb, missile, drone or chemical agent. Atrocity is just another term for murder by someone we dislike. Protecting one’s security is what we call it when the killer is an ally. It’s a dirty business, and as has been undestood since Thucydides, the closer you get to it, the more you become it. And the dirtier you get.