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Saturday, January 20, 2007


Facilitating Genocide:The Reporting of Abir Aramin's Death

Ten year old Anata resident Abir Aramin's death was reported much differently in most of the western press than it was in the Palestinian press which simply means that Israel's Defense Forces will continue to carry out the Jewish State's genocide of the Palestinian people, as yet an unfinished and ongoing project.

Palestine News Network reported on January 18:

Abir Aramin was only injured at first by the gas bomb that was shot at the back of her head. She had just stepped out of the Anata School for Girls after taking a test when the gas canister hit her and she was knocked to the ground.

The Director of the Anata School for Girls said Wednesday that she regrets what happened to Abir Aramin. “What happened yesterday is a deliberate and provocative exercise practiced by border guards since the beginning of exams at the end of the first quarter at students in all of the Anata Secondary schools.” She added, “The border guards are present daily at the doors of the Anata School for Boys and that for girls, and around Saladin Street where they know the kids must pass to reach buses or to walk home. They provoke the students by throwing grenades at them.”

Palestine News Network further states:

Israeli forces in Jerusalem had penetrated the town and began indiscriminately opening fire while detonating gas and sound bombs. Some young people responded with stones. Abir was the victim of the war game that the Israeli soldiers play daily when they enter the town during school hours and begin shooting near the Anata schools. These children are under 13 years of age, and do not fall prey to the taunting.

The International Solidarity Movement reported:

Hassan, a sixteen-year old student who witnessed Abir’s injury and carried her back to the girls school stated “the students of the girls school and the boys school had both just come out of an examination. A border police jeep approached the gathering of girls. The girls were afraid and started running away. The border police jeep followed them in the direction in which they were retreating. Abir was afraid and stood against one of the shops at the side of the road, I was standing near her. The border policeman shot through a special hole in the window of the jeep that was standing very close to us. Abir fell to the ground. I picked her up and took her to the girls school. I saw that she was bleeding from the head.”

The reports from the western media:

From Ireland Online:
Aramin was hit in the head and wounded by a stun grenade thrown by Israeli security personnel during a demonstration against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem, on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Palestinians say she was with two other girls in the village when an Israeli border police vehicle drove past.
Stones were thrown in the direction of the police, who responded with tear-gas and stun-grenades. The girl was hit in the head.

An Israeli border police spokeswoman said that they had used "crowd control means against stone throwers" protesting against the construction of Israel's controversial barrier.

From the International Herald Tribune:

Aramin was hit in the head and critically wounded by a stun grenade thrown by Israeli security personnel during a demonstration against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem, on Tuesday.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Abir Aramin had joined a protest Tuesday against Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank town of Anata. She was hit in the head by a stun grenade used by troops trying to end the protest, and died Friday. Police are investigating the incident.

From the Independent:

Shortly after 9.10am on Tuesday, Abir, her sister and two friends, came out of the grocery store and started walking downhill along the street. At that point, said one of the girls, Abrar Abu Qweida, 12, an Israeli jeep came up the hill; further down the hill, she says she saw "three or four" boys throwing stones towards the vehicle. As the jeep passed them going up the hill, she says, she noticed what she says was a gun protruding from the rear window. Moments later, she says, a Ford Transit, of the sort frequently used in the West Bank for unlicensed passenger transport, came up the hill. Abrar explained: "Abir said: 'Let's get in the Ford.' We were afraid from the jeep. But I said: 'I haven't any money.' So she said: 'OK, we don't go.'"

Abir's fatal injury came moments later. As they faced down the hill, Abrar was holding Abir's hand; Abir's sister Arin, 11, was immediately behind her. "Arin lowered her head and so did I," said Abrar, hunching her shoulders in a graphic demonstration of an instinctive reaction to an explosion. But Abir didn't duck, and fell forward, said Abrar, adding: "I ran away. I ran into the school."

After a formal complaint by the family, police have now launched an investigation by its internal affairs division. The police suggested this week that she might have been hit by a stone thrown by a Palestinian, and the initial findings of yesterday's autopsy do not so far prove that she was shot. Abrar's account is consistent with the massive fracture in the back of Abir's skull, from which surgeons at the Hadassah Hospital fought to save her; with other eye-witness reports; and from the rubber bullet one boy testified to the Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din he had found where Abir fell. The Peres Centre's Dr David Shanin, who visited doctors at the Hadassah with Mr Aramin as his daughter lay already clinically dead, is convinced her injuries were caused by a rubber bullet. He said: "The cause is obvious to anyone who doesn't want to twist the truth."

Even if Abir were not shot, there remains the question of what the police were doing near the schools in Anata in the first place. The police say that they were there to protect "ongoing work" on the separation barrier. But residents - and the Yesh Din lawyer Michael Sfard, who is helping to represent the family - are all adamant the work stopped months ago when the barrier here was completed.

From AFP:

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl has died of wounds suffered after Israeli border police fired on demonstrators in a village outside Jerusalem this week.

Abir Aramin was seriously wounded in her head by shrapnel from a stun grenade fired by the Israeli force during clashes with Palestinians in the village of Ananta on Tuesday.

From Pravda:

Aramin was hit in the head and critically wounded by a stun grenade thrown by Israeli security personnel during a demonstration against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem, on Tuesday.

Last two paragraphs of a 19 paragraph NYT story, "Israel Releases Money to Palestinans", which carried a picture of Abir's funeral:

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl, Abir Aramin, died Friday from wounds sustained when she was hit by fire from the Israeli border police on Tuesday in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem, Palestinian witnesses and relatives said. Abir and her classmates were on recess from school when the Israeli forces fired on stone-throwing Palestinians with rubber bullets and stun grenades, according to the Palestinians.

Abir was hit in the head and collapsed, the Palestinians said. The border police said they were investigating the report.

Last two paragraphs of the 16 paragraph USA Today, "Israel freezes settlement, releases money to Abbas ahead of his talks with Hamas ":

Meanwhile, the 10-year-old daughter of a Palestinian peace activist died Friday after being struck in the head days earlier by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli security forces in the West Bank. Abir Aramin's death was expected to further fan Arab anger against Israel.

Paragraphs 6, 7, 8 in 21 paragraph AP story:

In a development expected to further fan Arab anger, the 10-year-old daughter of a Palestinian peace activist, critically wounded by Israeli security forces during a demonstration earlier in the week, died of her injuries in a Jerusalem hospital Friday.

A recent story, the International Herald Tribune's "Hope and support From Israeli friends gets bereaved father through worst days," focuses on Israeli friends who are providing "strength" to Bassem Amiran, Abir's father. Its lead paragraph provides no concrete details and frames and minimizes the young girl's death by writing she was "killed in a clash":

The 37-year-old Palestinian peace activist is mourning his 10-year-old daughter, Abir, killed in a clash between stone throwers and Israeli border police this week, but is drawing strength from the embrace of his Israeli friends.

It continues "boys leaving school threw stones at Israeli border police patrolling in a jeep, a routine occurance."

The Independent and the International Herald Tribune have alluded to the cruel irony that Bassem Amiran, the combatant for peace, lost his little daughter violently. What's crueler, however, is glossing over the concrete details, especially in the case of the Herald Tribune, when describing what now is, according to Remember These Children, 869 Palestinian children's deaths since September 2000 (the BBC did have some statistics on its website).

One hopes in vain for the honesty of Tom Hayes, documentary film maker who in "The Information Blockade" describes a scene in Shati Camp from 1989:

"Filming through a crack between cinder blocks, I was trying to get a shot of a patrol that had emerged from one of the narrow paths in the camp. School girls, third and fourth graders from the look of them, wearing those cute blue and white striped school uniforms, were headed right toward the oncoming patrol.
The girls stopped in their tracks then, after a little discussion, proceeded forward. When they were 20 feet past the patrol, one of the soldiers raises his rifle and starts to chase them. Little feet fly. Blue and white dresses billow as tiny hands clutch each other. The soldier stops and looks back to his fellows. They all get a good laugh.

The footage, a group of girls running, a pan to a man with a machine gun slowing and turning away, is not all that dramatic. No arms or legs flew off, none of the stuff of evening news. But I must have watched that footage 50 times in my editing room. I ask myself the same question over and over: what would I do if a man with a machine gun chased my daughter on her way home from school, just for the pleasure of seeing her fear? What would any American do?"

Americans will continue to do nothing as long as the paltry few media stories that show a modicum of interest in Palestinian children's deaths focus on the kind, helpful Israelis, while glossing over a state made possible by ethnic cleansing and massive immigration and which in violation of international law refuses the right of return for people actually born there and their descendents. It is the manufactured and socially engineered "Jewish" state after all and one should expect that it would logically progress to a state of affairs in which killing kids is business as usual. After having cleaned out most of the native inhabitants one way or another, shooting school kids in broad daylight with impunity is a fine way to get parents to think seriously about joining Uncle Rizik in the US and to spirit in the best Herzl tradition the remaining non-Jewish inhabitants away.

the lack of care for us is shown here in its ugliest way!
may we see a change soon!

asad al nimr,


A brilliant piece of blogging Umkahlil!
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