by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed 16 unarmed Gazans in cold blood, wounding over 1,400 others, some with life-threatening injuries, the death toll sure to rise – another 49 Palestinians shot on Saturday.
A Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) press release said Israeli soldiers killed or wounded peaceful Gazan demonstrators, including women and children, threatening no one – a high crime demanding accountability, stressing:
“This huge number of victims proves that the Israeli forces continue to commit further crimes and use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives upon an official political decision.”
Netanyahu disgracefully praised what happened, falsely claiming soldiers were “guarding the country’s borders” – a bald-faced lie.
IDF spokesman General Ronen Manilis turned truth on its head, saying Palestinians killed were involved in violence – twisting reality, adding only several dozen at most were injured by live fire.
Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes shamefully said the UN should be investigating Hamas, not Israel.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry repeated the Big Lie about Hamas, claiming the fence along Gaza’s border “separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization…a state that protects its citizens from murderers who send their countrymen into danger,” adding:
“The fence separates an army that uses force in self-defense and in a focused and proportionate manner, and Hamas, an organization that sanctifies murder and death, that for years – yesterday included – has been intent on harming millions of Israelis.”
“Anyone who mistakenly views in this murderous spectacle even an iota of freedom of expression is blind to the threats the State of Israel faces.”
IDF forces faced “violent riots and terror attacks. (They acted) “in strict accordance with the rules of engagement, firing only when necessary and avoiding civilians strategically placed by Hamas in harm’s way.”
All of the above is a disgusting perversion of truth. Israel’s only threats are invented ones, no others.
The IDF used scores of snipers, one or more tanks, and drones to attack defenseless Palestinians – gunned down in cold blood, not a single Israeli soldier or civilian killed or injured, none threatened.
Separately, the IDF lied claiming 10 of 16 Gazans killed on Friday were members of “terrorist groups.”
Hamas acknowledged the deaths of five Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades members – Strip security force members, not terrorists.
A Hamas statement said they participated “in popular events side-by-side with their people.”
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashwari issued a scathing statement, saying:
“Palestinians in all of historical Palestine continue to endure destruction, displacement and dehumanization at the hands of the right-wing and extremist Israeli government and its unlawful policies and draconian measures.”
“(B)y means of its egregious violations, primarily the persistent annexation of land and the expansion of the illegal settlement enterprise, military checkpoints and apartheid walls in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel is acting with impunity and prolonging the military occupation.”
“It is also causing grave suffering for its Palestinian citizens with discriminatory and unjust laws, proposals and measures and denying them of their basic and fundamental rights as citizens of Israel.”
“(A)ll Palestinians, whether in the West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem), Gaza, 1948 Israel, or in exile, remain steadfast and committed to the land and to defending their inalienable rights and legitimate aspirations for freedom and self-determination.”
“As we observe this national (Land) day and honor our brothers and sisters who were murdered, we pay tribute to the Palestinian people everywhere for their courage and resilience in the face of Israeli racism, colonialism and violence.”
“With every obstacle and barrier implemented by Israel, we will persevere and provide hope in the face of devastation and despair.”
“We remain committed to popular non-violent activism and political, legal and diplomatic efforts, and we will persist in the struggle for our freedoms, rights and dignity.”
Separately on Saturday, the Trump administration blocked a draft Security Council statement, calling for an independent investigation into Friday’s massacre.
It expressed “grave concern” about the attack on nonviolent demonstrators, affirming “the right to peaceful protest, along with calling “for respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians.”
All Security Council members supported the statement, Washington alone opposed.
Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook explained every Gazan killed or wounded “did not come close to the border fence and did not attempt to take it by storm. They were killed by snipers from a long distance when they were inside the Gaza Strip.”
Israeli live fire caused half or more of Palestinian casualties. Gaza continues to be illegally blockaded under siege – for political reasons unrelated to security.
Israel remains unaccountable for decades of high crimes of war, against humanity, and slow-motion genocide – Palestinians victimized by its viciousness.
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Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization