Israeli Army Giving Its Soldiers a License to Kill
Shoot to kill. Not to apprehend, not to wound. To kill. This is the ethos of the IDF 2016.
Israeli soldiers surround the body of one of the two Palestinians who were killed after attacking a soldier in Hebron, March 24, 2016.AFP
IDF soldiers are called on to kill Palestinian children. Kill, soldiers, kill. Nothing bad will happen to you if you tear the body of a fleeing Palestinian teenager to shreds by firing three bullets at him from short range – your commanders and Yair Lapid will cheer you. Shoot the stone throwers with no fear, shoot anyone suspicious, as long as he’s Palestinian.
Don’t get me wrong – shoot to kill. Not to apprehend, not to wound. To kill. The mythological order “follow me” in its new meaning is ‘follow me to kill children; follow me to murder.’ This is the ethos of the IDF 2016.
The rules of engagement are updated accordingly. What is permitted to the Binyamin Division commander is permitted to any soldier. The division commander sets the example. Therefore, let the executioner from Hebron be released immediately.
After the incredible decision of the Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek to close the case of Col. Yisrael Shomer, there’s no longer any point to continue the farce of investigating the Hebron executioner.
The IDF is shamelessly issuing licenses to kill signed by the Military Advocate General. There’s no longer any need to deceive the public with absurd legal procedures against a minor military paramedic, while the division commander, an executioner like him, has been declared innocent. That which is allowed to Jove (Jupiter) is allowed to an ox (mortals).
Video of Binyamin commander Col. Yisrael Shomer shooting Mohammad Kosba
Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon can stop making their beautiful, hollow speeches. They are the commanders of an army that did not put Col. Shomer on trial, which makes them commanders of an army that legitimizes crimes.
A reminder: A large rock struck division commander Shomer’s jeep while it was driving, probably slowly, in a traffic jam between Qalandiyah and A-Ram last July. The division commander was furious. He left the jeep and chased the fleeing teenager, whom he suspected of throwing the rock that shattered the jeep’s window.
Shomer shot the youth from a range of seven or eight meters, three bullets in his upper torso. The boy fell, bleeding, and the commander didn’t even think of calling for medical help. He got back into the jeep and took off. What happened already? The commander killed a Palestinian boy, no big deal.
But it was an especially horrifying deal. Shomer surely wasn’t interested in the identity of his victim, whose life was cheap in his eyes. But the victim was Mohammad, son of Fatma and Sami Kosba of Qalandiyah camp. I told their story in 2002 (“The 40 days of Sami Kosba,” Haaretz February 5, 2002).
The couple had lost two children in 40 days. IDF soldiers killed their sons Yasser, aged 10, and Samer, aged 15, shooting both of them in the head from short range. The IDF spokesman said at the time that Yasser was a “chief inciter,” to justify his villainous killing. After the two were killed, their brother Tamer, who was 17, was badly wounded. And then, last summer, Col. Shomer killed Mohammed, aged 17, who was just 4-years-old when his two brothers were killed.
The fleeing teenager didn’t endanger the division commander’s life. The shooting was an act of punishment and revenge, hotheaded, of the meanest, most ignoble kind. Carried out by a senior commander. He, too, knew nothing bad would befall him. Shomer claimed he had aimed for the boy’s legs – here’s another reason to dismiss him. He either lied, or he’s a bad shot.
But Shomer will not be brought to justice. Why doesn’t that surprise us? After nine months of investigation, which could have ended in nine days, the Military Advocate General described his conduct as an “operational mistake” and closed the file.
The Military Advocate General also knows what is expected of him – to investigate suspicions of sexual offenses quickly and uncompromisingly, like in the case of Brigadier General Ofek Buchris, and close files of executioners like Col. Shomer.
The message is clear – a kiss by force is viewed more severely in the IDF than an execution. Soldiers, take heed: Killing Palestinians is absolutely fine. Fire away.