(19 October 2014)
Numerous sources in Israel-Palestine are reporting that an Israeli settler ran over two young Palestinian girls with a car, killing 5-year-old Einas Khalil and injuring the other, outside a kindergarten in the occupied West Bank today, near Ramallah.
The exact details are still being fleshed out, yet it is clear that it was a hit-and-run, while the children were crossing the main street in Singel, a small Palestinian village often attacked by Israeli settlers and their military.
Al Quds already has a report out about the murder: “The Martyrdom of a child and injuring another Dhshma settlers near Singel.” It notes that the two young girls, who were struck in the head in the attack, were immediately taken to an intensive care unit. Enas was announced dead, and the other child appears to be in a coma.
It also includes a video (in Arabic) interviewing one of the young girls’ bereaving mother, clinging desperately to her daughter’s pink Hello Kitty backpack.
This loss comes only three days after the murder of another Palestinian child. 13-year-old Bahaa Samir Badir was shot three times in the chest, at close range, by Israeli military forces.
Studies show that, for the past 12 years, a Palestinian child has been killed, on average, every three days. Bahaa was killed on the 16th, Enas on the 19th. Unfortunately, we can expect another murder in just a few days.
In just 50 days of Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” the Israeli military killed close to 2,200 people—including roughly 1600 civilians, 500 of whom were children—wounded over 11,000, and made over 100,000 homeless, bombing 10s of 1000s of homes, businesses, schools, mosques, churches, power plants, and even hospitals.
The deaths of Enas Shawkat, Bahaa Samir Badir, and countless more unnamed Palestinian children is however the daily reality in colonized Palestine. This is what “peace” is like under occupation. Even when an overt military massacre is not being waged, life in the West Bank and Gaza is still perpetual war, is what Israeli historian Ilan Pappé calls “incremental genocide.” Israeli terrorism is normalized in the form of apartheid and settler colonialism.
JSIL terrorists are out of control, killing Palestinian children several times a week, yet the international community is doing nothing to stop them.
It is so important that we see the faces of JSIL’s victims. The Western corporate media ceaselessly shows images of ISIL’s victims, repeating the same grotesque videos over and over again, ad nauseam, yet it never shows any of JSIL’s many more. For those of us who seek justice for the Palestinian people, and human rights and freedom for all oppressed people around the world, it is imperative that we counter this hegemonic narrative, that we humanize Palestine, that we “restore the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.”