Extrajudicial Killing Zone…
Excerpt from Welcome to Gaza by Max Ajl in Gaza – Jewbonics:
That evening, my friends walked into the apartment where I was staying with more composure than I remember having when the boy died after being shot in the femoral artery at a protest last year. This time it was a 20-year-old shepherd, Salama Abu Hashish, apparently shot through the kidney from the back as he was herding his animals a couple hundred meters from the border. He had died at the hospital minutes before they arrived.
Has anything changed here? Nothing has changed. My friends, many of them younger than I am, are a year older. Sharek Youth Forum was raided and shut down by the government. People are insistently shot down by the IDF while Gaza isn’t so much antediluvian—although it’s that, too, with donkeys moving people up and down main streets, jostling for space with late-model Mercedes recently imported into Gaza—as outside time, people wait to come into time. When, asks my landlord, will it end, and what is there to say but, hopefully soon?
Today I went to the martyr’s tent in Beit Lehiya. The shepherd who had died was freshly married. His child had been born two days before. His father said, “I am open,” indicating a line running along his sternum. The young man who had died had been his oldest son, leaving three brothers and two sisters. My friends working here, and the statistics, say that these murders, even more, the injuries, have been incessant since I left at the end of July. Incessant, and nearly banal, and marked in the West by a thundering silence—the silence of a racism that roars at the death of a Jewish Israeli and does not even bother to shrug at the death of a Bedouin living with his sheep, amidst the soil that’s dry from the rains which still, at end of December, have not come.
And what remains for his father? The stink of Beit Lehiya’s open, fetid sewage pits glittering in Gaza’s hot January sun, and a kilometer or two north of their home, the ghetto wall running along Gaza’s northern frontier, with its watchtowers and their minders, one of whom put a hole in his son’s back for being on the wrong part of his own land, a mistake for which his child will pay by never knowing his father. There will be no apology forthcoming for that murder. The family probably won’t bother with an impotent lawsuit in the racist Israeli court system, and that same obdurate racism ensures that Salama’s murder will be reprised again and again in the coming days and weeks while Israeli snipers maintain Israel’s “security” in a buffer zone already monitored by endless surveillance towers, drones, motion sensors, tanks, and automated machine guns, all of it a constant reminder to his parents that their child’s murderer walks free somewhere north or east of that concrete wall while they while away their time fuming, anguished, asking us as we visit, rhetorically rather than desperately, “Where is our freedom?” And all we can ever do is pathetically look at the ground and pretend we don’t understand the Arabic and don’t know the answer. We understand the Arabic, we understand the question, we know the answer, we know exactly where that freedom is—it’s under an Israeli-American jackboot that’s trying to grind that desire for freedom into nothingness, into human dust, while Obama and Netanyahu babble insanely about the Zionist need for security, a security that can only be secured by endless piles of Palestinian corpses, with resistance quieted and Ashkelon safe amidst the secure tranquility of the killing fields to its south. [my emph.]