Thursday, October 21, 2004
The same old story
Yet another IDF investigation ended this week without finding anybody responsible for the death of an innocent civilian. This time, the child was a 13-year-old girl. This time, the victim had "at least 17 bullets" in her body when she arrived at the hospital. This time, even some soldiers from the unit responsible for the girl's death came forward, shocked at the cruel violence of which they had been a part. This time, like the others, nobody was held responsible.
From the mouth's of the soldiers:
From the mouth's of the soldiers:
[S]ome soldiers in the unit responsible, the Shaked battalion, were outraged at what they saw as a cover-up. One told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that a soldier in the watchtower had told the company commander that he was about to shoot a child: "Don't shoot, it's a little girl".From the mouths of the Palestinian witnesses:
"The company commander approached her, shot two bullets into her, walked back towards the force, turned back to her, switched his weapon to automatic and emptied his entire magazine into her. We were in shock. We couldn't believe what he was doing. Our hearts ached for her. Just a girl of 13," a soldier told the newspaper.
Other soldiers said that if the company commander was not dismissed they would refuse to serve under him: "It is a disgrace that he is still in his position. We want him kicked out."
"Some soldiers were lying on the ground and shooting very heavily toward her," said Basim Breaka, who saw the killing from her living room. "Then one of the soldiers walked to her and emptied his clip into her. For sure she died on the second or third bullet. I could see her lying on the ground, not moving. I can't imagine why that soldier wanted to shoot her after she was dead."From the mouth of the father:
Fuad Zourob was working at a small brick factory overlooking the area where Iman was shot. "The girl was walking in the sand. She was shot from the army post. She was hit in the leg and she was crawling.
"Then she stood up and started to try and run and then she fell. The shooting went on. The soldiers arrived by foot. One came close to the girl and started to shoot. He walked away, turned back and then shot her some more," he said.
Yousef Breaka watched from the balcony of his second floor flat. He owns the 12 acres of bulldozed land beside the building which Iman crossed minutes before she was shot.
"The first shot came from the army post. It hit her in the leg. She was starting to walk on and then fell. She dropped her bag. They were firing, heavy shooting. I am sure she died before the two soldiers came and shot her bag and then her," he said.
"The day Iman was killed, the headmistress of her school called me at 8.15 and asked why she wasn't at school. I said I had no idea," he said.And from the IDF:
"I ran to the school. The teachers and headmistress told me the army shot toward a small girl but she was fine, don't worry. I calmed down a bit when I heard that and thought maybe they shot toward her to make her afraid and arrested her for interrogation and they will release her. But then they declared her dead. That was the worst moment in my life."
This week, the officer responsible for the Gaza strip, Major General Dan Harel, completed his investigation and pronounced that the company commander had not acted unethically in the shooting of Iman but was being suspended for losing the confidence of his soldiers.