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World

Is the life of a young Palestinian not worth that of a young Israeli?

Translated Wednesday 9 July 2014, by Michael Peters

The bodies of the three young Israelis who disappeared several days ago in the occupied West Bank were found on Monday evening near the Palestinian town of Hebron. The three teenagers, Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were reportedly shot dead. Their bodies were found in a field, under a pile of rocks, according to the Israeli army. This tragedy prompted, as it should, emotion and condemnation. It brought about a violent reaction from the Israeli military with several towns such as Hebron blockaded, seven young Palestinians killed and 400 men, women and children arrested during the largest military deployment for 10 years.

The disappearance of the young Israelis was met with mass repression. As the killing of these teenagers was announced, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government made clear its desire that Hamas, which the government holds responsible, is “made to pay”. In fact, a new escalation is being readied against the Palestinian people.
Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the three young students “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals” while his Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett, added “Murderers of children and those who direct them cannot be forgiven. Now is a time for action, not words.”

Hamas questioned the “Israeli version” of the kidnapping, without categorically denying its involvement. It warned Israel that “if the occupiers begin an escalation or a war it would open the gates of hell.” The Palestinian Authority, for its part, maintains that the disappearance occurred in an area under Israeli control and that “the government cannot blame the Palestinians for security matters” in this part of the region.

On Monday night, Barack Obama, the American President, condemned “this senseless act of terror against innocent youth”, while Francois Hollande labeled this incident as “cowardly murder”. One will notice that these two and the majority of Western leaders have remained silent these last few days following the attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. In this light, it is not going too far to ask oneself THE question: Is the life of a young Palestinian not worth that of a young Israeli?


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