After Israeli soldiers opened fire on largely peaceful Palestinian on March 30, the world was left wondering in shocked horror how the top Israeli politicians could justify such a massacre.
The Israeli defense minister put all such thoughts to rest by one simple statement: It’s because he thinks all citizens of Gaza are, essentially, terrorists.
On April 8, Avigdor Lieberman said there are “no innocent people” in Gaza, which has been under the control of the fundamentalist organization Hamas since 2007.
"Everyone's connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activists trying to challenge us and breach the border are Hamas military wing activists,” he continued.
The defense minister’s words also encompassed children of Gaza and members of the press, it seems.
Israel has been under intense criticism after its defense forces killed at least 19 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400 people during a bloody crackdown on Land Day. The next day, Israel Defense Forces account tweeted, “Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”
The tweet was deleted soon after but screenshots remain.
"Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed"— Indignant Indigent (@mjones206) April 1, 2018
-Official Israel Defense Forces tweet (since deleted) pic.twitter.com/LaQOT6jK7I
Violence spiked again on April 6 and Israeli forces shot and killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded 1,060 more, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
The dead included a 15-year-old boy Hussein Mohammed Madi, who was killed east of Gaza City by expanding dum-dum bullets.
A 30-year-old Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, who was covering the protest, was also shot in the abdomen by an Israeli sniper, despite wearing a jacket labeled “Press.” He died shortly after.
Lieberman implied Murtaja was using a drone for footage, which made him a target.
“We know that in many instances Hamas has used journalists and the media and the Red Crescent and ambulances to carry out terror activities,” Lieberman alleged. “Whoever flies a drone over [Israeli] forces, over our soldiers — we won’t take any chances.”
However, two witnesses refuted his statement claiming Murtaja was using only a hand-held video camera all day.
Photos show another reporter was shot in the leg.
Israel said it only opened fire when it became absolutely necessary to stop damage to the border fence, attempted attacks and infiltration. It blamed the “approximately 10,000 Palestinians” who participated in the “rioting in five locations along the border with the Gaza Strip.” The IDF also said Hamas radicals tried to hide behind the cover of the protest to carry out violence.
However, no Israeli casualties have been reported.
Human rights groups have harshly condemned the actions of Israeli soldiers against Palestinians and activists said demonstrators were shot down even though they posed no threat.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman: “There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” (Such words indicate a man who is prepared to commit genocide) https://t.co/3kfsx5bxxI— Chris Doyle (@Doylech) April 8, 2018
#BREAKING#Zionist Minister of war Avigdor Lieberman tells Yedioth Ahronoth: #Israeli Air Force is ba k to work in #Syria— Marwa Osman (@Osman_Marwa1) April 9, 2018
"Back to work"...they BOMB AND KILL PEOPLE and call it WORK. https://t.co/P0BLyoDF5B
Avigdor Lieberman, squatter defense minister says there are no innocent people in Gaza. A message to the USA and Western Europe leaderships: go to hell you hypocritical bastards. That’s what you made possible in the 21st century.— Hakim Yasin (@Hakimyasin) April 8, 2018
Avigdor Lieberman: "There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip."— Khaled Diab (@DiabolicalIdea) April 8, 2018
When a defence minister says that, you know it's time to become very, very worried. https://t.co/fuTRaSGHuy
The European Union and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have called for an independent investigation into the incidents. It has, of course, been denied by Israel and is just more proof of how cheap Israel thinks the lives of Palestinians are.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File photo