Today and Nakba Day may go down in the recent history of the Israeli-Arab conflict as two days in which Israel massacred unarmed Arab civilians in cold blood thus meriting a war crime investigation. Approximately 600 Palestinian supporters massed today at Quneitra and Majdal Shams on Israel’s Golan border and attempted to repeat their earlier crossing of the border on Nakba Day a few weeks ago. They were met with three battalions of IDF soldiers, police and attack dogs. When the protesters were still on the Syrian side of the border, IDF snipers opened fire on those within 200 meters (600 feet). Arab children approached the fence as a group and they too were fired upon and wounded.
The IDF is claiming, as usual with no supporting evidence, that a demonstrator threw a Molotov cocktail which landed in a mine field and ignited a mine, which killed most of those who died. The video of the event should easily prove or disprove this claim.
Here is the typical lame, mealy-mouthed garbage that passes for IDF justification for its murderous behavior:
“Our firing was measured and cautious,” a senior Northern Command officer said. “We tried to avoid casualties, but at the same time, we’re not willing under any circumstances to allow them to damage the border [fence] or cross it.”
The use of live fire was justified, he added, because this is an international border, and “sovereignty must be upheld at any cost.”
Interesting that the officer mistakenly claims that this is an “international border,” which it isn’t. It is a disputed border with Israel clinging to territory it conquered and stole from Syria and which it refuses to return despite the fact that Syria has expressed multiple times its willingness to resolve all differences. Under international law, I believe a case can be made that Israel was not defending its own border, and that it was firing on the protesters from territory which once was Syrian and will again be as soon as Israeli leaders come to their senses and return it in exchange for long-term peace. How do you justify killing Syrians because they’re attempting to cross into territory that international law deems to be Syrian? I think Israel has stuck its fist into a hornet’s nest on this one.
Let’s be clear, given the previous massacre on Nakba Day, to kill another 22 demonstrators as Syria is claiming, while wounding hundreds more, is an out and out war crime. What’s more, there will ample video documentation of Israel’s slaughter by Syria TV. For those who may argue there simply was no other way, it must be noted that the Quneitra protest was quelled largely with non-lethal means.
Though the IDF succeeded in preventing a mass border crossing Sunday, officers voiced fears that Israel has lost the initiative
Gee d’ya think?
The slaughter at Majdal Shams is like déjà vu all over again. How many times have we seen the IDF repeat virtually the same bloody scenario (Lebanon 2006, Gaza 2009, Mavi Marmara, etc.)? It seems useless to remind the international community that repeating the same action which failed the first time (and all previous times it’s been attempted) is the definition of insanity. How long will the world allow this bloody insanity to continue before it puts its foot down and intervenes? For the love of God, vote for Palestinian statehood come September. And if Obama undermines this effort shame upon him. He presents no viable alternative. Does he want to go down in history as the American Nero, fiddling while Israel and the frontline states burn?