Friday, 28 December 2012

Video: Israeli soldier killed Hebron teenager after he had already retreated



Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, wrote to The Lede on Thursday to draw our attention to the fact that more video of a fatal shooting at a checkpoint in Hebron this month has been posted online.

As The Lede reported last week, when the Israel Defense Forces released security-camera footage of an Israeli officer killing a 17-year-old Palestinian at the checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Dec. 12, activists and bloggers in the region asked why the video had been edited before release.

On Wednesday, a correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 uploaded what appears to be unedited video of the encounter at the checkpoint to his personal YouTube channel. According to the correspondent, Roy Sharon, the security-camera footage, which includes 19 seconds omitted from the edit posted on an Israeli military channel last week, was “raw material provided by the I.D.F. Spokesperson’s unit.”

The longer version displays a time stamp indicating that it was recorded on Dec. 12, from 8:09 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. The unedited recording includes about 14 seconds that was cut from the middle of the version released by the military last week and another five seconds that was trimmed from the end of the encounter.

The newly released video of the end of the incident appears to show that the Israeli officer fired at least three shots at the Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Salameh, after he had already retreated from the officer he had been fighting with when the first shot was fired. The officer’s final shot, which was omitted entirely from the military’s edited version, looks to have been fired from some distance, after the boy had doubled over, perhaps from the impact of the earlier shots. The boy was not close to any of the Israeli officers visible in the footage. more

Thousands remain without water, power one month after attack on Gaza


GAZA CITY (IPS) - On 17 November, four days into Israel’s eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicly called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.”

The following day, Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon, called for Israel to “flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,” adding, “there is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip” (“A decisive conclusion is necessary,” The Jerusalem Post, 18 November 2012).

Now, nearly a month after the Israel-Hamas ceasefire, the government and international bodies in Gaza are still assessing the total damage caused by Israeli bombings on infrastructure throughout the Strip.

Preliminary estimates put direct damage at $250 million, with another $700 million in indirect damages, according to Hamas government spokesperson Taher al-Nunu (“Leveling Gaza: Israeli airstrikes to cost Gaza over $1.2 billion,” Russia Today, 25 November 2012).

In more tangible terms, the vast destruction has affected bridges, thousands of homes, hundreds of UN shelters, tens of mosques, many government buildings, media offices, financial institutions, hospitals and health centers, two stadiums, a training center for disabled athletes, water and sewage and electricity networks, more than 100 schools, Gaza’s “life-line” tunnels, and innumerable roads.

During the Israeli bombings, Al Jazeera reported that 400,000 were without electricity after five different transformers were hit. more

Gaza ministry releases 6 Fatah detainees


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's interior ministry released 26 prisoners on Thursday, including 6 detainees affiliated with Fatah, an official said.

Kamal Abu Madi, an official from the ministry, said in a press conference that the release of Fatah prisoners was a gesture to create a positive environment for national reconciliation.

Six Fatah members imprisoned for criminal and security offenses were released, he added. more