May 20, 2014.
Rights group says killings amount to "war crimes," demands international probe
International outcry and condemnation came swiftly on Tuesday following the release of video footage showing two innocent Palestinian teenagers being shot dead by Israeli forces.
According to rights group Defense for Children International — Palestine, which obtained and circulated the security camera footage, Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16, sustained fatal gunshot wounds on May 15 by Israeli Defense Forces after participating in a demonstration near the Ofer military prison in the West Bank. The teens were there to mark Nakba (or Catastrophe) Day, which commemorates the 1948 mass displacement of Palestinians, and express solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners currently held in the detention center.
After the video was made public, assistant UN secretary general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco demanded an "independent and transparent" probe into the circumstances surrounding the boys' deaths.
"It is of serious concern that initial information appears to indicate that the two Palestinians killed were both unarmed and appeared to pose no direct threat," said Fernandez-Taranco.
"The UN calls for an independent and transparent investigation by the Israeli authorities into the two deaths, and urges Israel to ensure that its security forces strictly adhere to the basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials," he said at a briefing of the UN Security Council.
Though the closed circuit television footage showed some rocks being thrown by protesters early on, as one witness reported, "at the moment of the killings, nothing was going on and no stone throwing was taking place."
"The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting," said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCIP. "These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable."
The video below contains graphic and disturbing footage:
Read the rest here.
Also see The Electronic Intifada for more up-to-date coverage.
Comment: May Nadeem Siam Nawara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh rest in peace.
(Credit: The Electronic Intifada)
Their struggle will not be in vain. In the end justice always prevails and barbarism of this kind is not left untouched.
As usual, the sounds of silence coming from Obama and his henchmen and women is about deafening.
We should not expect anything more.
Palestinian life is expendable to them and the US and its allies will join Israel in feigning innocence in this brutal massacre of two teenage boys.
Palestine will be free. It is inevitable.