Don’t Forget Bassem Abu Rahmeh

Today is the first year’s anniversary of Bassem Abu Rahmeh’s Death. I didn’t know Bassem, but I watched him die. It was only a few months after the Gaza massacre. Nobody cared for a dead Palestinian. Two weeks later I started going to Bil’in. I’ve been going every week ever since. I’ve met people I’ve come to care about. I’ve met Bassem’s friends, who welcome me in their home with a smile and embrace. His family, who have been shot and jailed. His fiance- a beautiful Israeli activist- whom I’ve come to love like a sister. I care about their life and I see them hurt.

Burying Bassem Abu Rahmeh
A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article in the Ha’aretz website, that unsurprisingly never showed up in the English version (I’ve written before about Ha’aretz double standards, when it comes to its international audience). It was titled “The Military Attorney Won’t Investigate the Death of a Demonstrator of IDF Fire in Bil’in a Year Ago”.

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Israeli ‘Justice’ for Cameraman James Miller

180px-james_miller_bbcThe family of James Miller, a UK journalist murdered by the IDF, have accepted damages of £1.5 million saying it was as close to an admission of guilt from Israel as they were ever likely to get.  The military said the officer involved would be disciplined for breaking the rules of engagement and also for changing his account of the incident but he was exonerated.

Another British family had a similarly unpleasant experience of Israeli “justice” when their son, Tom Hurndall,  was murdered by the IDF in Gaza.   Mr Hurndall’s father described a “culture of impunity” saying “they just lied continuously … it was a case of them shooting civilians and then making up a story. And they were not used to being challenged.”

It is within this culture of impunity that an Israel officer murdered in cold blood a Palestinian girl, Iman al-Hams, aged 13, shooting her 17 times, and afterwards commented that he was right to kill her and would have killed her even if she was three years old. A military investigation by the officer responsible for the Gaza strip subsequently concluded that the captain had “not acted unethically”.

After complaints of a cover up, the military police did get involved and the killer was  charged with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions.  He was later found not guilty.

Needless to say Iman’s family and other Palestinian families like them will never see justice or £1.5 million in compensation.

Israel has paid £1.5m in damages to the family of James Miller, the British cameraman shot by an Israeli soldier while filming a documentary in Gaza in 2003.

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