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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/15/18

Eyeless in Gaza

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Message Uri Avnery
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From Gush Shalom


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WRITE DOWN: I, Uri Avnery, soldier number 44410 of the Israel army, hereby dissociate myself from the army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief.

We don't belong to the same army, or to the same state. We hardly belong to the same human race.

IS MY government committing "war crimes" along the border of the Gaza Strip?

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I don't know. I am not a jurist.

It seems that officials of the International Criminal Court believe that the acts of our soldiers do constitute war crimes. They demand an international investigation.

To prevent that, our army command proposes an Israeli military investigation. That is manifestly ridiculous -- an army investigating itself about acts committed on direct orders of the Chief of Staff.

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As was published in advance, sharpshooters were posted along the border fence and ordered to kill "ringleaders" of the unarmed protesters on the other side of the fence. The Gaza leadership had announced that these unarmed protests were to take place every week, after Friday prayers, until Naqba Day.

During the first two Fridays, 29 unarmed people were shot dead and more than a thousand wounded by sharpshooters.

For me this is not a judicial question. It is a crime, not only against the unarmed protesters. It is also a crime against the State of Israel, against the people of Israel and against the Israeli army.

Since I was a member of that army on the day of its foundation, I think that it is also a crime against my comrades and me.

THIS WEEK a short video, recorded by a soldier at the time of such an action, was widely seen in Israel.

It shows the action from the angle of a soldier who was obviously standing next to a sharpshooter. The sharpshooter sees the demonstrators from a distance of hundreds of yards. The hairs of his sights move at random, than settle on an individual. He shoots. The person drops on the spot.

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A joyous cry "Yesh" is heard all around from unseen soldiers who have been watching. "Yesh" means "got him," a jubilant yell, such as would accompany a hunter's success in killing a rabbit.

Many hundreds of thousands of Israelis have seen this film by now, since it was shown for the first time on TV. Except for a few articles and letters to the editor (in Haaretz), there has been no protest.

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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