Nobody Cares When A Muslim Dies

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 The funeral of Arkan Mizher, 15

Barely acknowledged or reported or grieved except by those enduring it, the brutality against Palestinians goes on apace. Demolitions continue, even as Israel passes a law enshrining Palestinians as second-class citizens. This weekend, the shutdown of Gaza's only remaining power plant due to lack of fuel meant Gazans lost all electricity - even the four blessed hours a day they've survived on for months - while Trump officials threatened to "pull the plug" on an already imperceptible "reconstruction" effort. Last month, Israel's Ha'aretz reported that a stingy Trump has been pressuring other countries in the region to invest up to $1 million in Gaza's ravaged economy and electrical system; to date, meanwhile, U.S. taxpayers have invested over $72 million in Trump's golf games.

Monday at least brought a tenuous ceasefire to Gaza after Israel had launched major airstrikes, dropping some 50 tons of munitions, after one Israeli soldier was killed. Even before the launch, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned of the latest "broad, painful military operation" that civilians would "pay the price," thus admitting Israel's ongoing crimes against humanity; the key principle of international law is distinguishing between civilians and combatants. Nothing new here: Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge killed over 2,250 Palestinians, two-thirds of them civilians, and since the start of this year's Great March of Return protests, Israel has killed over 150 unarmed Palestinians, including 17 children, two journalists and two paramedics, as well as wounding up to 16,000. Lieberman thought they too deserved to "pay the price"; after the protests, he noted, "There are 159 dead terrorists."

Now there are at least four more. Israeli soldiers killed Mohammed Sherif Badwan, 24, and three other  unarmed Palestinians said to be members of the al-Qassam Brigades during a protest at the Karni crossing as they tried to climb the wall between Israel and Gaza. Another 100 were injured. Then, in an overnight raid in the West Bank's Deheishe refugee camp near Bathlehem - where regular night raids have resulted in displays of photos of young "martyrs," mostly teenaged boys killed by Israeli soldiers - they murdered another child, this time for throwing rocks. Arkan Mizher, 15, was shot in the chest near the heart and killed Monday. He died on his way to the hospital; residents charged soldiers blocked entry to ambulances that might have saved him.

"During the operation, a violent riot was instigated in which Palestinians hurled rocks and threw firebombs and grenades at (Israeli) soldiers," said an IDF statement of the encounter. It added that solders "fired live rounds selectively," and reports "regarding a Palestinian that was killed" are "being looked into." In a markedly different version of the story, residents said up to 1,000 soldiers in dozens of jeeps arrived at the camp at 2 a.m. and "just came in shooting in every direction, live bullets, rubber bullets, tear gas, everything.” Soldiers reportedly fired tear gas into people's homes, causing many to choke. “The way that they enter the camp, in these numbers and so aggressively," said one, "is proof that they are coming to kill.” They will continue to, many Palestinians lament, as long as "nobody cares when a Muslim dies."

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At Karni crossing on the Gazan border. Photos by Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org

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Arkan Mizher, Facebook photo

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