The image is repeated frequently since Israel launched war against Hamas in Gaza and military incursions into the West Bank. Apparently unarmed people are shot in the middle of the street and they fall while other passersby try to rescue them from the bullets. When they try to get closer, the sniper continues shooting. Sometimes those who go to save the fallen die. In others, they manage to rescue them, hooked with ropes or crawling to them.
This is what happened on December 31, for example, in Gaza City, according to an investigation presented this Sunday by Al Jazeera television.
In the images you can see the body of a woman collapsed on the ground, lifeless, and an apparently injured child shaking his head while several men try to rescue him. As they approach, the sniper responsible for the massacre continues shooting. They throw cables and pieces of wood at the child so that he can hold on. He finally succeeds, and is taken out of the danger zone. Then a man picks him up and takes him away.
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The young woman, Hadeel Haroun Abu al Qara, 20 years old, died from gunshots. He was a first-year medical student at the Islamic University of Gaza (now destroyed). The boy, who was saved, was his cousin Imad Hazem Abu al Qara, and has four years. Hadeel accompanied her cousin Imad to a nearby supermarket to buy food, according to the family’s story to Agencia Sana.
According to the story of relatives and witnesses told by the Qatari network, an Israeli sniper shot them as they walked at the Abu Iskandar intersection in the Sheikh Al-Radwan neighborhood of Gaza. Al Jazeera affirms to questions from this newspaper the video authenticitywhich is not the only one they have received, verified and issued that shows sniper shots.
He Israeli Army (Israel Defense Forces) has not respondedat the close of this edition, to the questions from this newspaper about that case or other similar ones.
“These types of attacks would clearly be outside the limits of the international laws of war and Israel’s own operational doctrine,” he explains to this newspaper. Rob Geist PinfoldPhD in strategic studies from the University of Durham (United Kingdom) and specialized in Israel’s security strategy. “It is very difficult to know how widespread they are, but I think the underlying problem is that Israel has relaxed the rules of attack (rules of engagement) in this war. He prioritizes protecting his soldiers, and the result in the murky world of urban warfare is that soldiers often shoot where they think there may be a threat. Unfortunately, many of those times the shootings were not justified.”
The British-Israeli analyst points out that the change in doctrine was exposed in the shooting death by soldiers of three Israeli hostages who were in the hands of Hamas and that they had managed to escape. Even though they were half naked to make it clear that they were not carrying weapons, with white flag and shouting in Hebrew, IDF troops shot them and killed them on the spot.
On October 10, the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced an all-out offensive against Gaza and said: “I have lifted all restrictionswe regain control of the area and we are going to move towards a total offensive.”
Dozens of complaints about shootings of civilians
The reported shooting deaths of unarmed civilians number in the dozens.
The British network ITV recorded the moment when snipers shot and killed a man, Ramzi Abu Sahloulwho was giving an interview and was carrying a white flag.
On December 22, the Christian Patriarchate of Jerusalem denounced that two Palestinian women (Nahida and her daughter Samar) They had been killed in an attack by an Israeli sniper inside the Holy Family Church in Gaza. Christian families from the Strip had taken refuge there after the beginning of the offensive on October 7.
Reports of sniper attacks against civilians are not limited to the Gaza Strip, one of the three parts of the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel, along with East Jerusalem and the West Bank. On November 29, two children were shot dead during an Israeli Army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Their names were Adam Samer al Ghoul (eight years old) and Basil Suleiman Abu al Wafa (15 years old).
In one of the videos, later verified by CNN, you can see how the eight year old boy He is shot while on the street, and dragged behind a car by another minor, leaving a trail of blood in his path.
Another illustrative case of this common practice occurred on October 19. Israeli military and Border Police forces assaulted the Nour Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarem (West Bank), for 30 hours. They killed at least 13 Palestinians.
One of the people who died was Taha Mahamid, 15 years old, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in front of his house when he went out to see if the Israeli forces had left. According to witness testimony and videos reviewed by Amnesty International, Taha was unarmed and posed no threat to the soldiers at the time he was shot. In a video filmed by one of his sisters and verified by International Amnesty, Taha is seen walking down the street, looking out to check for soldiers, and then falling on the street in front of the house after the sound of three gunshots is heard.
When Ibrahim Mahamid, Taha’s father, tried to pull his wounded son to safety, Israeli forces shot him in the back.
In this war in Gaza (the fifth major offensive in the Strip since Hamas came to power), Israel has killed at least 28,000 people and wounded 67,000, according to the latest data published in the United Nations daily report with figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. It is Israeli retaliation for the worst Hamas attack in Israel’s history, in which around 1,150 people died.
There are about 1.7 million displaced people. The majority are taking refuge in the city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, or in makeshift tents in the area. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuhas ordered to prepare to assault that last redoubt of civilians in Gaza.