Recently, the former Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, wrote an article for the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper commenting on the “daily violence” that Israelis must put up with from terrorist actions. Downer habitually omits the daily violence committed by the IDF and Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians. Downer seems to forget that no Israelis have to deal with Palestinian bulldozers that turn up to destroy Israeli homes. No Palestinian tanks routinely charge up and down Israeli towns and suburbs. No Palestinian check-points exist within Israel (or any where else for that matter) to hold up and harass Israelis on their way to school, work or just home. No walls (built by Palestinians) divide Israeli communities from their homes, lands and places of work and education. No Palestinian settlements (deemed illegal by the overwhelming majority of the international community) exist within greater Israel. Nowhere in Israel can you see Palestinian extremists marching around in broad daylight carrying automatic weapons without a blink from the authorities. Nowhere can you find water wells and olive groves in Israel (owned by Israelis) that have been pulled up and destroyed by Palestinian settlers who are on Israeli land illegally. No Israeli refugee camps exist anywhere. the list could go on and on…
The following article from the Mondoweiss website tell of yet more violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Violence, the type of which is a daily occurrence to Palestinians, not Israelis.
Israeli soldier shoots protester in face at close range with teargas canister
by Alex Kane and Philip Weiss on December 9, 2011
Violence rocked the occupied Palestinian territories today, as a demonstrator in Nabi Saleh was critically injured and Gazans continued to brace Israeli air attacks. Four Gazans were killed in the attacks, including at least one civilian.
Mustafa Tamimi, a 28-year-old resident of the village of Nabi Saleh, was shot in the face by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tear-gas canister after apparently throwing stones at an Israeli army vehicle. News of the injury quickly came in through Twitter:
“He was throwing rocks at the jeep, the door opened and the canister was fired with precision and intent straight in his face.” # nabisaleh
Other Twitter users on the ground in Nabi Saleh claimed that at first, the Israeli army was not allowing them to take Tamimi to the hospital. But their troubles weren’t over when the Israeli army allowed Tamimi to go. A tweet sent from the account of the Active Stills photography collective reported: “One of our photographers and 2 friends of Mostafa Tamimi are detained by Security guards in Beilinson hospital.”
The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) has more on what happened:
Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year old resident of Nabi Saleh, was shot in the face today, during the weekly protest in the village of Nabi Saleh. He sustained a severe injury to his head, under his right eye, and was evacuated to the Belinson hospital in Petah Tikwa. He is currently anesthetized, breathing through tubes, and his condition is described as serious. Tamimi is undergoing treatment in the trauma ward of the hospital, and is expected to undergo surgery later tonight…
The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today, when dozens gathered for the weekly demonstration in the village, protesting the theft of village lands by the adjacent Jewish-only settlement of Nabi Saleh. After the army dispersed the peaceful march, minor clashes erupted followed by a severe response by Israeli forces. Several people were hit with rubber-coated bullets and directly shot tear gas projectiles. Three were evacuated to the Ramallah hospital for further treatment. One protester was arrested.
The demonstrations, which have been held regularly for the past two years have seen hundreds of injuries to protesters by Israeli forces as well as dozens of arrests carried out with the aim of supressing dissent.
The PSCC posted this video of the aftermath of the shooting. Warning to viewers: It is extremely graphic and disturbing.
An IDF spokesperson, Avital Leibovich, tweeted a photo of a slingshot Tamimi was allegedly using to explain the Israeli army’s actions.
Meanwhile, there has been an escalation in violence in the Gaza Strip. This latest flare-up was sparked by an Israeli air strike in Gaza that killed Palestinian fighters who Israel says were involved in attacks on Israel originating from Egypt’s Sinai.
Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that his government was holding intensive talks with regional and international parties to stop Israel’s escalation in attacks on the enclave.
Four Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday and at least 20 injured in a series of airstrikes on Gaza City. The Israeli army expressed regret that civilians were hurt in the attacks, which injured at least seven children.
Speaking after Friday prayers in Gaza City, Haniyeh said Israel’s latest flare up in aggression was preceded by threats of a new military action by Israeli leaders.
About Alex Kane and Philip Weiss
Alex Kane is a staff reporter for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.