A 16-year-old Palestinian girl was shot in the head, so what?
Killing innocent civilians in occupied territory is not “Israel’s internal affairs”. The US wants answers, the International Court of Justice is already investigating previous cases. The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict is in Israel and she will check if there is any reason to include Israel in the list of countries that harm children during war, after Israel has already been warned.
By Zvi Bar’el • (Translated by Sol Salbe)
14 Dec 2022
Jana Zakarna, 16 years old, was killed two days ago by a bullet to the head. A mundane, almost banal story. First, the IDF announced that “we are aware of the claim about a Palestinian female being killed.” In a slightly more detailed response, it was stated that “the fighters fired at armed personnel, the circumstances of the girl’s death are under investigation.”
The established IDF narrative has already come into play: “In the initial investigation, the fighters stated that they did not identify a woman or a girl there during the exchange of fire. The IDF is checking to see if the girl could have been on a lower roof… The IDF also says that every night such fire is opened at the security forces who are tasked with arresting wanted persons, and the forces react precisely against armed men only.” A cut-and-paste of the formulation of the conclusions of the IDF investigation in the Shireen Abu-Akleh case, with the exception of the possibility that she was accidentally shot by IDF fire. But within minutes a correction would come, according to which “there is a high probability” that one of the Border Guard fighters accidentally killed Zakarna.
So, at first they didn’t identify a woman or a girl. Besides, it was night, and if that wasn’t enough, she might have been on a lower roof, so they couldn’t see her. The conclusion is that when shooting at night there is a good chance that civilians will be killed, especially if they are not seen. But if you don’t see them, how do you identify armed men and how do you know how to accurately shoot only at them? Time to tweak the script a bit.
And then, Defence Minister Benny Gantz also responded, saying that he regretted Zakarna’s death, “like any death of anyone who was not involved in terrorism, if that was indeed the case.” This is already conditional grief, a new style in military PR doctrine. Maybe she was even killed by Palestinians? And what was she doing on the roof when thousands of bullets were whistling from all directions? A girl should sit at home when shots are fired.
Indeed, the necessary twist came immediately. “The army said that there is a suspicion that the girl helped the gun totters who shot at the fighters who came to Jenin to arrest wanted persons, and she served as a lookout near the armed personnel from one of the rooftops in the Palestinian city — and because of this she was mistakenly identified as one of them,” the Hebrew Ynet website said. Now everything is clear. Zakarna was accidentally killed, but she’s not completely innocent either. There is really no room for regret, maybe only for grief.
And if it did, then does it mean anything? All in all, another event that concerns “Israel’s internal affairs”, or as Gantz explained following the American FBI’s decision to investigate the killing of Abu Akeleh: “The decision of the US Department of Justice to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a serious mistake … I made it clear to the US representatives that we stand behind the IDF soldiers, that we will not cooperate with any external investigation, and we will not allow interference in Israel’s internal affairs.”
This time Gantz, the Chief of Staff, the Officer in Charge of Central Command and the commanders of the forces in the field can relax. The FBI, which in its wickedness decided not to be satisfied with the IDF’s examinations, investigations and conclusions, will not extend its investigation to Zakarna’s case as well. She is merely a Palestinian, not a US citizen. Zakarna’s case will be investigated by those in charge of the IDF’s perfect morality, and you can count on them not to allow a 16-year-old Palestinian girl to spoil the impeccably pure branding of the IDF.
But killing innocent civilians in occupied territory is not “Israel’s internal affairs”. The US wants answers, the International Court of Justice is already investigating previous cases, Virginia Gamba, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict is in Israel and she will check if there is any reason to include Israel in the list of countries that harm children during war, after Israel has already been warned. This list includes many bad countries, who claimed that it was their internal affairs”. They also expressed sorrow.
Original article in Haaretz Hebrew Edition:
(Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe, Middle East News Service)