ed note–this is corroborated by what former NYT reporter Christopher Hedges wrote in his piece ‘A Gaza Diary’ that was originally published in Harper’s Magazine
It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker.
“Come on, dogs,” the voice booms in Arabic. “Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!”
I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: “Son of a bitch!” “Son of a whore!” “Your mother’s cunt!”
The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.
A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children’s slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.
Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered—death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo—but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.
A Palestinian schoolboy killed by Israeli gunfire near the West Bank separation barrier had been reacting to insults shouted by soldiers with loudhailers before he was shot, eyewitnesses have said.
The teenager died on Tuesday after being shot three times. He was hit from behind as he was running away from Israeli troops in the village of Boudrous, according to his family. Doctors at Ramallah Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said he had suffered gunshot wounds to his neck, leg and torso.
An Israeli Defence Forces spokesman said the shooting happened after soldiers initiated “standard rules of engagement”, which include live fire, to respond to such incidents.
That was challenged on Wednesday by Samir Awad’s family, teachers and school friends, who said he had approached the fence only after being incited by Israeli troops, who had used loudspeakers to provoke pupils at Boudrous Secondary School, which sits 200 yards away, into a confrontation.
“They were shouting, ‘Come dogs, Come to the wall,” 10-year-old Khaled Shaheen told The Daily Telegraph. “They were also calling us sons-of-bitches and saying your mothers are dogs and adulteresses. They were shouting on the loudspeakers before Samir left his class.
His description was confirmed by several older pupils at the school, who said the soldiers uttered other obscenities they were reluctant to repeat.
An Arab language teacher, Nader Shalash, 37, said shouted insults from the army patrols were a daily occurrence.
“They went to say to the pupils, ‘We are here. Come and get a bit of trouble’,” said Mr Shalash, who described the teenager as intelligent and a
good student. “Some of the soldiers are Druze and some are Jewish. They also play loud music. We built a wall and fence around the school and also erected three gates which we keep locked during school hours because we don’t want any provocations. However, they happen.”
Family and friends say Samir was running away from the security barrier after soldiers fired tear gas. As he tried to head towards the school, he was intercepted by two other soldiers who had been hiding in a trench dug by the Jordanian army during the 1967 Six-Day War.
While his friends managed to get away, Samir’s escape route was cut off, forcing him to run back towards the barrier. It was at that point he was shot, witnesses say.
The incident happened shortly before 10am on Tuesday just after the teenager had finished a midterm science exam.
The Israeli human rights group, B’tselem, say the Israeli soldiers called for an ambulance but apparently did not administer treatment. They left the scene when villagers, including Samir’s brother, Jibril, arrived and carried him away.
Last night the IDF said it could not comment on the allegations of incitement as an investigation was underway into the shooting which is beign carried out by the military police.
On Wednesday, as the Awad family observed three days of mourning, The Daily Telegraph witnessed further confrontations in the area between the school and the security barrier. Israeli soldiers fired rounds of tear gas after several Palestinian youths approached the barrier, which consists entirely of fencing in the region around Boudrous.
The village achieved fame after being the first West Bank village to organise regular protests against the barrier, eventually succeeding in getting its route changed. The Awad family say they lost five acres of land to the barrier’s construction and that four of Samir’s brothers have been wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers.