*ambulance crushed by Israeli soldiers as the driver tried to reach critically-injured children just shot by Israeli soldiers
-by Eva Bartlett
Violation after violation of international law, and the Geneva Conventions, are being revealed and documented as Palestinians’ testimonies are taken of their aggressors and assassins, the Israeli soldiers and those authorities who commanded the slaughter of over 1,400 Palestinians in 3 weeks of incomprehensible bombing and terrorizing of the people of Gaza. Not only are testimonies being taken [more testimonies], but remnants of the illegal weapons and activities of the Israeli army in Gaza are being collected and documented for prosecution of the war criminals of Israel. [US lawyers report on Israeli crimes in Gaza] One of the more profound criminal acts little-discussed in the corporate media is Israel’s encaging of 1.5 million citizens while bombarding them, meaning that:
“No children, women, sick people or disabled people were allowed to leave. For the first time, the option of becoming a refugee has been withheld,” as highlighted by Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Nothing was ‘surgical’ about Israel’s strikes except the countless amputations that followed.
The sordid case of Khaled Abed Rabbo is among the numerous instances of clearly unarmed civilians –who by all accounts of survivors were not in an area of ‘crossfire’ or ‘clashes’ –being shot point-blank by invading Israeli soldiers. In this case 3 out of 4 of the civilians were children: Amal, a 2 year old girl and Souad, a 7 year old girl, both shot dead; and Samar, a 4 year old girl, now paralyzed from her multiple shots. Abed Rabbo’s mother, also named Souad, was targeted, also at close range. All were denied medical aid.
Neighbour Samiah Al Sheekh had taken his ambulance only metres down the track between his home and that of Abed Rabbo’s when Israeli soldiers ordered him out, beat him, and using a bulldozer rammed the ambulance into Al Sheekh’s home. “They put explosives by my home and destroyed the ambulance and my house,” he recounted.
Abed Rabbo has told whoever will listen about the murder of his children: “I tried to protect my children, to go back inside. They didn’t stop shooting,” he said, referring to the 3 Israeli soldiers by a tank outside his home who had ordered the family out then gunned them down. Particularly poignant in Khaled Abed Rabbo’s recollection of the moment is that the soldiers displayed a calm, leisurely snacking on junk food while ordering the residents of his home outside. Clearly, these armed soldiers felt no threat.
Hours after the shootings occurred and Khaled Abed Rabbo and family had carried the injured girls and grandmother over a mile to the main crossroads, Dawwar Zimmo, under still more Israeli soldier fire, he was finally able to flag down a car to take them to Kamal Adwan hospital, in Jabaliya. Amal and Souad arrived dead at the hospital.
Khaled Abed Rabbo, like 10s of other families throughout his neighbourhood, returned home to find his house destroyed, leveled by the explosives demolition that Israeli soldiers applied to the majority of the demolished homes in the area.
An L.A. Times report on a similar assassination in a different region, Zeitoun, quoted an unnamed Israeli army spokesman as saying: “As a matter of policy, we do not target civilians.”
As with so often when faced with the Israeli army’s justifications, the victims’ testimonies and corpses speak a different truth, in this instance of a calculated slaughter of unarmed civilians, of children.
reporting on Khaled Abed Rabbo:
*Khaled Abed Rabbo family outside his destroyed house.