A Tragedy in One Act: Hate Wins and a Little Boy Loses

At least 11 shots were then fired and 15-year old Basil plus eight-year old Adam lay dead.

Information surfaced recently, collected by BBC correspondents, shows the death of two boys who had gathered to play soccer on their street.  To piece things together, Mobile phone and CCTV footage, witness testimony, detailed investigation of the scene with measurements, and of course a check on the movements of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) all combine to provide damning evidence of serious human rights violations.

The evidence is conclusive, says Ben Saul, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, that the deaths were a war crime.  Dr. Lawrence Hill-Cawthorme, a legal expert, called the use of lethal force by the Israelis as “indiscriminate”

The BBC has also noted evidence of Palestinian homes being vandalized and civilians being threatened and told to get out and go to Jordan.

Eight-year old Adam Shafig, a soccer fanatic and huge Lionel Messi fan, joined his older brother Baha, 14, a friend, Basil, 15, and six others for a game.  A friend was videoing the play.

It seems a convoy of a half-dozen Israeli armoured vehicles turned a corner and began heading towards the boys who became uneasy and tried to withdraw.  The front door of an armoured vehicle opened giving the armed soldier a clear view of the boys.

At least 11 shots were then fired and 15-year old Basil plus eight-year old Adam lay dead.  Basil seemed to have been clutching something in his hand.  The Israelis are claiming it was an explosive device.  Now how many kids play soccer with an explosive device in one hand?  The Israelis say they took a photo of the scene and it shows the explosive device.  Why not let everybody see it? 

Dr. Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne, co-director of the Center for International Law pointed out the soldiers were in armoured vehicles and clearly protected from such a small device.  “Even if there was a threat, they should have driven away and planned an arrest, rather than defaulting to apparently indiscriminate lethal force, which is a violation of international law.” 

The IDF claims the kids were about to hurl explosives towards their forces, putting them in immediate danger.  “The troops responded with fire and hits were identified.”

Let’s think for a minute.  These little kids were going to throw explosives at armoured vehicles.  Would that not be committing suicide for the armoured convoy would certainly shoot back?  Clutching at straws perhaps on the part of the Israeli military to cover for an heinous act.  For Adam, poor boy, was not armed and was even running away when shot fatally in the back of his head.

To summarize, another ‘successful’ operation by Netanyahu’s brave soldiers.  They vanquished some kids trying to play a game of soccer in the hell-hole that is Gaza.  All of which begs the question:  Who is training these soulless killers of children in their policing activity?

And what does our president, who is dragging the U.S. into this quagmire of international law violations, think of all this?  Responding to the numerous demonstrations by thousands of students across the country appalled at Israel’s violations of norms like the Geneva Conventions or international humanitarian law, he says they just do not understand the facts.  Is it possible they understand them better than you are willing to Mr. President?   

Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for Antiwar.com, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.