[ Unfortunately, these stories are all too common; and equally unfortunately, they are not carried by major U.S. media. This “blackout” aids both Bush and Kerry, neither of whom intend to meaningfully address this problem. –BL ]
“Meanwhile, the Israeli army said it suspended an officer under investigation for firing at the dead body of 13-year-old girl, who was riddled with 20 bullets …”
GAZA CITY – A 10-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl died Wednesday, October 13, of her wounds after Israeli occupation troops shot her in the chest while sitting inside a United Nations school in a Gaza refugee camp.
Fifth-grade Ghadir Mukheimar breathed her last at Naser hospital in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis after undergoing an emergency surgery to save her life Tuesday, October 12.
?She was inside the classroom, sitting at her desk,? Paul McCann, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
?We have repeatedly called on the Israeli army to control the fire of their soldiers in the vicinity of schools.?
Mohammad Mukheimar, Ghadir?s uncle, told Al-Jazeera satellite channel that they still wait for a permission from Israeli occupation authorities to lay the child to rest.
UNRWA said it was the fourth shooting of a student at one of its schools in Gaza in the past two years.
The incident is a grim reminder of 13-year-old Iman Al-Hams, who was riddled with 20 bullets by three Israeli soldiers while on her way to school in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.
Iman was left lying in a pool of blood because ambulances had been denied access.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation army said early Wednesday it had suspended an officer under investigation for firing multiple shots at the dead body of Hams.
?I found it necessary to suspend the platoon commander for now,? Israeli Col. Eyal Eisenberg told Israel Army Radio. ?The accusations are grave. We will get to the bottom of the truth.?
Witness soldiers said the officer fired two bullets from close range to confirm that she was dead and then went back a second time and sprayed her with automatic-weapon fire.
They, speaking on condition not to be named, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahranot that they shouted to the commander over the two-way radio: ?Don’t shoot, she’s a little girl.?
“We saw her from a distance of 70 meters. She was fired at … from the outpost. She fled and was wounded. I understood that she was dead. The platoon commander neared her, shot two bullets at her, returned toward the force, turned back to her, put the weapon on automatic and emptied his entire clip,” one soldier said.
They further revealed that the officer tried to intimidate them and buy their silence.
Yossi Sarid, Member of Knesset for Meretz party, was quoted by the respected London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as saying that the Israeli army was ?morally bankrupt?.
?The talk about army values and gallantry is a charade now,? he said.
The occupation army acknowledged the girl?s satchel did not contain any explosives.
Last month, four senior officers of an elite Israeli air force unit hit out at the military’s ?immoral? policies in the occupied territories in a letter published by Israeli newspapers.
An Israeli reservist said last March that a growing number of reservists are skeptic about the ?moral principles? of the army.
Erlik Alhanan said 80 percent of reservists have lost confidence in the declared moral principles of the Israeli army due to the practices in Lebanon and the crackdown on the Palestinians.