Latest IDF Lies on Jawaher Abu Rahme Death: Hospital Killed Her
I wrote recently about a Forward article which portrayed a 2002 study by IDF toxicologists which noted that high concentrations of CS gas could be lethal. The article attempted to explain how Jawaher Abu Rahme could’ve been killed by the inhalation of CS gas at last week’s Bilin demonstration.
Today’s Haaretz references that study (without crediting the previously published Forward story) and adds new information–that the IDF is using a new tear gas launcher which can fire six canisters simultaneously, thus saturating an area more intensely than ever before. Though the story notes that gas concentration would have to be 800 times the average level used to quell demonstrations in 2002, the new weapon, which dishonors the name of Beatle Ringo Star, could likely achieve such an level especially if the shells landed in very close proximity to each other and the victim.
Despite this, the IDF continues slinging the lies:
The IDF Spokesman responded that soldiers use the Ringo only “in compliance with the binding professional orders for using this weapon, and with the rules of engagement applicable under the circumstances. CS gas is less poisonous than other tear gases. Therefore, it is the tear gas commonly used worldwide.”
Here the official blows smoke up our asses by deliberately obfuscating the problem with the Ringo. The problem isn’t that the weapon is being used contrary to specifications. The problem is that it IS being used according to military orders and those orders are not only likely, but destined to kill someone. In fact, at least one of the other 21 Palestinians killed at Separation Wall protests was killed from gas inhalation. This isn’t a new problem for the IDF.
Again, the army placed blame squarely on the Palestinians for her death with more sophistry:
…The study found that “treating people exposed to CS gas is simple, and any medical crew can treat victims of the gas with simple and readily available medical means.” Therefore, it concluded, there is no reason “to change the policy for using the gas.”
Note the unproven claim that a 2002 study by Israeli army doctors found that under typical Israeli conditions is easily treatable. However, conditions prevailing in 2002 don’t prevail now. The IDF uses vastly greater firepower in confrontations with Palestinians; and when they are injured the medical facilities available to them are not as sophisticated as treatment available to Israelis.
Any IDF officer who makes a statement that it should not change a policy that kills people should be a candidate for the Hague. Plain and simple.
I have yet another candidate in mind. Without offering any proof whatsoever, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon blames Abu Rahme’s death on the Palestinian medical system:
“She most probably died as a result of other complications, combined with problems in the medical care she received at the Palestinian hospital,” Nitzan said.
Every piece of actual documented evidence I’ve read shows that the only complication Abu Rahme had was an inner ear infection treated before her death. She was taking no medications at the time of her death. She had no medical complications at the time of her death. There is NO indication of anything remiss in the medical treatment offered to her in the Ramallah hospital that treated her. I note that the IDF, just after her death, lied once again in claiming that the hospital released Abu Rahme and she went home where she died. It was at that time attempting to insinuate that the hospital thought her condition mild enough that it released her. This would thus absolve the IDF and CS gas of any responsibility in her death.
Now the IDF concedes that the victim did stay in the hospital till her death, but that medical treatment (or lack thereof) killed her. Considering again that they offer no proof for this “theory” it’s worth about the same amount as the earlier nonsense they tried to peddle.
I am sorry to speak in such extremes but these people are not just cruel, or mean-spirited or self-serving. It goes beyond this. They are evil. Or perhaps if you want to let them off the hook a bit you can say that they’re reinforcing an evil system and therefore have absorbed the immorality of that system. But I believe that human beings have agency. They have responsibility for moral thought. Even soldiers. Even senior officers. Especially senior officers.
Israel and officers like Nitzan must know that no matter what their army and nation tells them to do, that there are others watching this evil and keeping accounts. That these accounts must be answered in time. They will be held accountable.
When you think about it, even if Israel adopted a slightly more accommodating approach and admitted error or expressed remorse. Even if it didn’t end the Occupation, it would still earn some measure of decency in the opinion of others and perhaps even some Palestinians (not that I advocate such half-measures). But Israel disowns its actions by claiming that Jawaher died for her own sins. It takes the approach of bullies and monsters throughout human history: if they admit any weakness, any error, their enemy will exploit it ruthlessly and that will be the end of their privileged, superior status. And bullies never willingly relinquish their power.
This is the tragedy of modern Israel. It could have half a loaf and everything that comes with it: peace, security, prosperity, good relations with its neighbors. Instead, again like those bullies I mentioned, it will take the whole loaf or destroy everything trying to get it.
30 thoughts on “Latest IDF Lies on Jawaher Abu Rahme Death: Hospital Killed Her – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I got this breaking news line over at Ha’aretz:
“Initial IDF probe: 65-year-old Palestinian was shot after soldiers felt he posed a threat (Ch. 10)”
This just disgusts me. There is no accountability, no justice, no nothing in Israel.
Yes, a sleeping man posed a life-endangering threat. He walked toward them in his sleep.
And the article linked by Richard reports at the very end that the soldiers who shot the bottle-owning Palestinian at a checkpoint were deemed to have acted properly because they claimed the bottle looked like a knife. That’s such a familiar pattern now – shoot an innocent person, then claim you felt threatened, and scot-free you go, no further questions asked, provided you belong to the right tribe.
On June 2, 1967, Germany had its own Kent-State-like incident when at an anti-Shah demonstration in Berlin the student Benno Ohnesorg was shot dead by plainclothes officer Karl-Heinz Kurras (who only last year was exposed as a Stasi agent). At the time singer/songwriter Franz-Josef Degenhardt satirically attributed this statement to Kurras:
“Der Student Benno Ohnesorg hat sich am 2. Juni 1967 selbst erschossen, mit einem langen Messer, was wie ‘ne Armbanduhr aussah.”
“The student Benno Ohnesorg shot himself dead on June 2, 1967, with a long knife that looked like a wrist watch.”
That’s exactly what IDF press releases are looking like these days.
Brig. General Alon, stated that the IDF is conducting its investigation with the corporation of the Palestinians, i would wait until the completion of such investigation and would read the mutual statement that would be published carefully prior to coming with any accusation that the Brig. General lies.
Ilan, first of all the IDF tried to claim that Jawaher died from a serious asthma attack. Then it claimed that she was not present at the demonstration at all, but seriously ill with cancer, which killed her. Now she’s present at the demonstration again, but it wasn’t tear gas that killed her – it was poor Palestinian medical care! They have already presented at least three conflicting stories. This is not the behaviour of people who are committed to carrying out a thorough investigation, but the behaviour of people who are determined to get themselves off the hook.
P.S. As for the ‘problems in the medical care she received in the Palestinian hospital’, that’s a very odd excuse for an Israeli officer to choose, as it draws attention to the impoverished condition of hospitals in the West Bank and the manifold problems that Palestinian doctors face both in qualifying and keeping their knowledge up-to-date. All of these difficulties are posed by Israeli-imposed travel restrictions and Israeli economic strangulation. I wouldn’t draw people’s eyes in this direction if I were the Brigadier-General. He is supposed to be stemming the flow of uncomfortable questions, not opening the flood-gate.
please show me a formal response of the IDF prior to this one.
all i have seen was a Ynet report on the subject that quoted an anonymous source within the IDF. Anonymous = Anyone from a private to the Ynet reporters mother.
This is the first official response of the IDF, and in the name of fairness Brig. General Alon said that Abu-Rahma was away from the main location of the clashes.
and just for future references, IDF has a spokesman, any statements not coming from the IDF spokesman is not a credible one, officers needs the spokesman approval to give interviews hence the interview is official, anonymous isn’t.
IlanP, the IDF gave an entire press conference to primarily right-wing Israeli bloggers on Monday that raised the type of excuses Vicky described. I can’t remember the officers’ names, to me they’re all a bit like Tweedledum and Tweedledee by now, but they weren’t anonymous. By then they decided that she had in deed been at the protest, but the stories about her having died at home were all in there.
If they don’t want a press conference with a bunch of lies to be official, then they shouldn’t give them, or at least discipline officers that give them. But obviously the public relations aspects are more important to them. They have to be able to pass off the death as not their fault, and whether this requires lies is irrelevant. That is, sling blame all over the place as quicly and loudly as possible in the hope that noone notices or cares about the final investigation whenever that is done.
(Sorry the comment is so late. I was at that protest, and I’ve been especially upset by the smeering of Jawaher, her family, those brave Palestinians that risk death and injury at the protests every week, and now the Palestinian doctors who, from my experience, are absolutely world class.)
YOssi Gurvitz published about the press conference at 972 Magazine & said the conference was supposed to be anonymous. But he broke the rules & reported the general’s name. I think it was Avi Mizrahi. I displayed at picture of him here & a link to the Gurvitz post.
I know that all the claims prior to today’s were made anonymously, and I can readily accept that some of those claims were distorted in transmission. There is a story circulating on certain Israeli blogs that Jawaher Abu Rahma was stabbed by a relative in an honour killing, for example, and the bloggers credit the IDF as the source. I recognised at once that this particular myth was unlikely to originate from the IDF, as the notion of Jawaher being knifed to death in front of hordes of witnesses is just too far-fetched to gain widespread currency. And that is what the IDF want here: a story with the widest possible appeal. I think this is clear from the statement they have released officially: “She most probably died as a result of other complications, combined with problems in the medical care she received at the Palestinian hospital.”
First of all, consider how vague it is. ‘Most probably’. ‘Other complications’. There is no certainty here, no suggestion of what those complications might have been, and no evidence to support the claim that the hospital was at fault. This statement is a blank canvas onto which supporters of IDF policy can project their own beliefs – such as the dramatic notion that Jawaher suffered from cancer. That fits in with ‘other complications’. Such as the belief that she died from asthma. That fits in with ‘other complications’ too. In fact, pretty much any story that you care to concoct fits in with ‘other complications’.
Secondly, note that Nitzan Alon didn’t counter the claims that Jawaher died from leukaemia or an asthma attack, even though those claims have been published in Jpost, Ha’aretz, Ynet, London’s Jewish Chronicle, and goodness knows where else – all attributed to the IDF. He doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to distance the IDF from the claims, which makes sense if you accept that his purpose is to ensure that as many people as possible believe the IDF to be innocent. It doesn’t matter to him why they believe in that innocence, just so long as they do believe in it.
Thirdly, even though there are no named sources, it does seem that the IDF played a much more direct role than you are suggesting in the creation of the earlier stories. On the Muqata blog there is a transcript of an IDF press conference that was given to a group of Israeli bloggers, dated 1st January. The Muqata bloggers claim that every word in the post was spoken by an IDF official, and that they recorded the statement as it was issued. It may be that their transcript is not a faithful record of events, but I doubt that the bloggers would fabricate the entire press conference – it seems reasonable to accept that the conference did take place, and that IDF soldiers did make the three main assertions that are put forward on the blog – that Jawaher was not present at the demonstration, that she was chronically ill, and that she died in her home. There is a slim possibility that the whole press conference is a figment of the bloggers’ imagination, but it’s unlikely. Even if it’s true, the second point I made still stands.
Finally, compare the brigadier’s vague official response (arriving seven days after Jawaher died) with the response that was published on the Internet by the Co-ordinating Committee of Bi’lin five days ago. They provided a comprehensive account of what happened, including testimonies from several eyewitnesses and the report of the ambulance driver who took Jawaher to hospital. Activists from Jewish Voice for Peace, present at the demonstration, were updating their Twitter feed as the demo went on, so there was a record of Jawaher’s injury on there – in real time. I suspect that this was the reason for the IDF’s week-long silence; it’s not easy to counter evidence of this quality. In the end, they haven’t even tried – they have just made an assertion about the quality of Ramallah’s healthcare, qualifying it with ‘most probably’ and not offering any proof to back up their stance. Surely you can see how weak their case is?
The Muqata blog post is actually dated 3rd January, if you want to look at it. Sorry for the error.
First it is a real pleasure to read your response, and i do mean it.
second, i looked at the blog you refereed me to, who stated
“Senior IDF military sources briefed an exclusive group of bloggers this evening on the events surrounding this past Friday’s Bilin demonstration and the “alleged tear gassing to death” of a Palestinian woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma”
to be honest i doubt that such an event ever took place, simply because the IDF will not discriminate reporters, a press conference if conducted will be open to all, and a proper notification will be given. it will issue the same msg. to both the written news paper and bloggers, i do not know of any news conference that took place, and just to clear any doubt in my mind on the subject, i contacted the IDF spokesman division and asked if such an event took place on January 3rd, i will have an answer no later then tomorrow and I promise i will post it, and email it to Richard.
as for your critique of the IDF in this particular event, it seems to me that the best thing everyone can and should do, is to wait for the investigation to be concluded. as Brig. General Alon stated it is a mutual investigation which gets the full corporation of the Palestinian Authority, let the two bodies come forward with their conclusion, to me it seems like the responsible thing to do.
Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon is the military commander in charge of the administration of the West Bank. The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that the military commander is “the long arm of the State” and that he is responsible for looking after the rights of the “protected persons” living in the occupied territory according to the terms of the Geneva Conventions and customary humanitarian law. See for example the legal analysis starting at paragraph 14 of http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files_eng/04/570/079/a14/04079570.a14.pdf HCJ 7957/04 Mara’abe v. The Prime Minister of Israel
Your suggestion that the Commander’s public statements are unofficial can’t be taken seriously. The General has implied that Abu Rahme’s death would not have occurred if she’d been given the same quality of health care which is available to the residents – living only a few yards away – in Upper Modi’in. Anyone who has read the official UN reports on the subject, or the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion already knew that might be the case.
In 2004, Palestine and several other states said that Israel’s policies and practices in the West Bank satisfy the definition of Apartheid that the Court employed in the Namibia case and that their impact The impact on the social, economic and health conditions of the Palestinian people has been grave. Lebanon noted that Israel’s Wall and the military administrative regime in the Occupied territory “correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973: that is to say, the denial of the liberty and dignity of a group, the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part, measures calculated to deprive a group of the right to work, the right to education and the right to freedom of movement and residence, the creation of ghettos, the expropriation of property, etc. Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment.” See Written Statement of Lebanon http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1563.pdf
14 jurists joined in the majority opinion which concluded that, with the exception of Israeli citizens, Israel was systematically violating the basic human rights of the inhabitants of the Occupied Territories in the area of health care. The Court cited illegal interference by the government of Israel with the Palestinian’s national right to self-determination, land confiscations, house demolitions, the creation of ethnic enclaves, and restrictions on movement and access to supplies of water, food, education, health care, work, and an adequate standard of living. The Court also noted that Palestinians had been displaced in violation of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Goldstone Commission said that “it believes that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin. It cited “Repression Allowed, Resistance Denied: Israel’s suppression of the popular movement against the Apartheid Wall of Annexation”, July 2009 which provides a list of the 19 people, including 11 children, killed in anti-wall demonstrations up until July 2009. FYI, Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention provides that “expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or to members thereof”; and “persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid” are specific examples of the crime of apartheid. Exactly how long are we supposed to suspend our disbelief of the routine Israeli denials?
The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity applies to “eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide”.
There is no such thing as a legal “right” without a corresponding legal “remedy”. In this case, Abu Rahme’s rights constituted part of the General Alon’s obligations. The international justice system is still pursuing criminal cases stemming from WWII, e.g. John Demyanyuk, et al. So, I hope that it is NOT too improbable to think that General Alon will also be given an opportunity one day to defend his actions in a court of law.
Big deal. The IOF investigating itself is, always has been, and always will be tantamount to the Council of Foxes investigating last night’s raid on the hen house.
From someone who expects to jews to go back to the places they came from, from someone who denies that the Jews have an equal right to reside in the land of Israel, from someone like that i do not expect any other thing then disregard to the truth.
so good job fulfilling living to your reputation, and i promise i would let you know the min i would leave the land my ancestors reside in for a 1000’s of years.
In other words, you are unable to counter Vicky’s well-argued responses, and apparently unwilling to check the source she referenced, so you fall back on the tired, tiresome, and completely unrelated canard of anti-semitism.
Really poor job on this one; perhaps a hasbara refresher course is in order?
Not at all, i answered vicky.
i was referring actually to a msg written by Deïr Yassin in a previous post, and wrongly attributed it to Shirin, and for that i apologize.
next time you might want to check the time stamp that posts have, i posted this msg, prior to vicky posting her.
If you were responding to one of my messages (that you wrongly attributed to Shirin) that means that your response to Shirin (Jan 8th, 1:45 pm) is actually adressed to me ??
If that’s the case, I would appreciate that you tell me precisely where I’ve claimed that “Jews should go back to the places they came from”.
If these accusations were aimed at me, I simply DON’T accept. So, please, show me my comment, file at time where I claimed that; In the meantime, I think I’ll join the group calling you a liar.
The internet memory lasts more then the humans one.
i attached a link to my original comment, and below is what Richard himself had to say about your comment, you still claim you never said that ?
“I hope this is a rhetorical question. If not, the idea of Israeli natives, no matter the injustice that they wrought on native Palestinians doesn’t justify the 100 fold suffering that would ensue were these Israelis expelled to whatever odd countries might be willing to accept them. The notion is simply horrifying, as horrifying as the injustice facing Palestinians currently.”
Let me just add to this that I find no reason that Israel cannot accomodate its current citizens & refugees who wish to return. With the proviso that there be a fund established that would offer the refugees financial alternatives like settling in Palestine, remaining where they are–in return for financial restitution for their suffering & any loss of property now within Israel.
I totaly agree with your statment, however i think that a solution for all refugees Arabs and Jews should be established as part of reaching a peace agreement.
Oh yes, I agree. It has to come together as a package resolving all outstanding claims among the parties.
Saddling the Palestinians with responsibility for the Jewish refugees is a self-evident attempt to impose collective punishment on them for the obligations or wrong doing of third-party states.
The Palestinians are not responsible for the majority of Jewish refugees. Israel, itself, was responsible for limiting the scope of the refugee discussions at the 1949 Lausanne Conference to only the Jewish and Arab refugees of Palestine. It also concluded a separate peace agreement with Egypt, that did not provide for the compensation of the Jewish refugees from Egypt.
The notion that Israel can use the private property of Jewish refugees (now) living in other countries to offset its own state obligations is a perverse solution. That would only constitute an additional case of wrongful appropriation. You really can’t “rob Peter to pay Paul.”
The only practical solution is to give the responsible state parties the option of either reconvening the Lausanne diplomatic conference to reach an agreed-upon settlement by a date certain; or else require them to submit the matter to international arbitration.
IMO we could wait another 60 years for the regimes in the region to negotiate “a just settlement of the refugee problem”, and it will never happen. That would be comparable to a bunch of monkeys reproducing the complete works of William Shakespeare.
# Ilan P)
No, your link is not attached to your comment, it simply starts at the top of the comments.
Shmuel to Shirin:
“Where are . . . Jews allowed to live in your “ideal” Israel . . . Do you propose to sending them back to Poland and Germany etc”
I answer to shmuel:
“You apparently have no problem with the fact that you, an English-born Jew could move to Israel while the native population who was expulsed, can’t return to their homes.
Why is it so shocking to ask people to go back where they came from IF [it’s all in the ‘if’] THEY WON’T ACCEPT LIVING WITH THE NATIVE POPULATION ?”
Do you at least understand the sentence ?
You then answer (after mixing me up with Shirin)
“From someone who expects Jews to go back to the place they come from, from someone who denies that the Jews have equal right to the reside in the land of Israel . . .”
Maybe you shoul spent a litte less time spinning pro-Israeli propagande and be a litte more careful before you put out that kind of Fatwa. You are completely manipulation my sentence ! Either you are a dishonest person – a liar as PA stated – or you lack basic reading and comprehension skills.
I NEVER stated what you say, and I ask for an apology.
By the way, I’m fed up with Israelis who accuse others of ‘denying their right to live in their land blabla’ or some other antisemitic shit while at the same time they have no problems denying the Palestinians to live on THEIR land.
And don’t try to cover your statement with Richard’s comment. He merely asked for a clarification of what I meant. You’re not the webmaster.
ERRATA: ‘equal right to reside’, ‘should’
Yes, the hasbarists always tell us to wait until the IDF investigation is completed. Meanwhile the IDF is busy scurrying around talking to any journalist who will listen to their lies & planting them anywhere they can in the domestic & world media. No I’m afraid I won’t wait till the investigation is complete. Besides, you yrself sent me a link to an IDF media rpt saying that as far as the IDF was concerned she died of poor medical treatment not gas inhalation, it wasn’t the IDF’s fault, the case was closed, & nothing would be changed about the way the IDF behaves at BIlin protests. C’mon, you know as well as I there is no “investigation” in any sense of the term that a reasonable person would recognize. And you know what the result of the faux investigation will be.
I’ve listened to ALon speak on Israeli TV. He’s a baldfaced liar & apologist for his murdering troops both in Bilin & in Hebron (who murdered Amr Qawasme in his bed).
RE: “Yes, the hasbarists always tell us to wait until the IDF investigation is completed…” – R.S.
GET A LOAD OF THIS:
SOURCE – http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/amateur-or-professional/
A zoch in vay. Israel doesn’t have enough problems w/o these idiots attempting to “help!”
RE: “…these people are not just cruel, or mean-spirited or self-serving. It goes beyond this. They are evil.”
MY COMMENT: Pod People!
SEE: On the Morning Following the Putsch ~ by Yossi Gurvitz, Wish You Orwell, 01/06/11
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://ygurvitz.net/?p=97
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Pod People) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_the_Body_Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Official Trailer  (VIDEO, 02:20) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFnSxeDfENk
P.S. ALSO SEE: Israeli intellectuals decry Knesset plan to investigate Leftist groups ~ By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz, 01/09/11
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-intellectuals-decry-knesset-plan-to-investigate-leftist-groups-1.335967
P.P.S. AND SEE: “IDF uses propaganda like an authoritarian regime” ~ by Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 01/09/11
Instead of working toward revealing the truth behind the recent death of an anti-fence demonstrator the IDF is reaching into its bag of lies.
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-idf-uses-propaganda-like-an-authoritarian-regime-1.335985