The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the many major conflicts that face the modern Middle East. The birth of the Conflict traces back to the early 19th century and the creation of Zionism. The Jewish Virtual Library defines Zionism as “the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel (Levine).” The secular movement originated due to anti-Semitism and the persecution of Jews throughout Europe. Zionism brought solidarity to Jews because it created the goal of restoring Israel as their common homeland. That ideology, combined with a tiredness of being Europe’s scapegoat, eventually led to the migration of tens of thousands of Jews to Palestine. In November of 1947, the United Nations passed Resolution 181 which disproportionately divided the land, angering the Palestinian people. Numerous wars and revolts have taken place since then. It is important to understand that the issues Arabs have with Jews and the state of Israel have nothing to do with religion; rather, they have to do with land. Hebron, a city within the West Bank, has been at the center of much of the conflict in more recent times. This week, an Israeli soldier was stabbed by two Palestinians. Both of the terrorists were killed at the scene. One of the Palestinians was originally only wounded and was lying face down on the ground until an Israeli soldier executed him by shooting him in the head from point blank range. Both the Jerusalem Post (Israeli) and the Ma’an News Agency (Palestinian) wrote articles about the occurrence.
The Jerusalem Post published two very short articles about the event. In the first article, it simply gave a brief summary of what happened. At a checkpoint in Hebron, it said that two Palestinian terrorists wounded an IDF soldier. Following the attack, other soldiers at the scene shot and killed the two terrorists. The wounded soldier is in light-to-moderate condition from the stab wounds in the shoulder and hand. However, shortly after, a video was released showing the second Palestinian man being shot in the head while being face down following the attack. The Jerusalem Post interviewed the soldier who killed the man. The soldier does not regret his actions, believing that he did the right thing and assured that nothing else would happen. He also told the interviewer that the Palestinian man was wearing a coat and that he feared that the man would blow himself up. The soldier was placed into custody following the incident, and will remain there until the conclusion of the investigation.
The Ma’an News Agency released a lengthier article. It provided the same background information, even recognizing the fact that the Palestinians attacked the Israeli soldier. However, it goes into more detail about the execution. The wounded man was left lying on the ground, surrounded by armed soldiers. One of them walked up to him and shot him in the head at close range. The video shows that none of the soldiers reacted to the fatal shot. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that an investigation will be opened, which is very encouraging to Palestinians. Amnesty International wants the incident to be prosecuted as a potential war crime because a wounded/incapacitated man was shot and killed unjustly. Israel has taken a lot of criticism for what many have termed a “shoot-to-kill” policy adopted against Palestinians (Mulder). This was not the first killing of that sort. It is encouraging to Palestinians that the soldier has been placed under investigation. Violence on both ends is simply unacceptable in order for this conflict to end.
Amir, Noam, Maariv Hashavua, and Tovah Lazaroff. “Soldier Who Shot Subdued Terrorist: ‘I Did the Right Thing, at the Right Time.’” The Jerusalem Post. Jpost Inc., 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.
Lazaroff, Tovah. “Two Palestinian Terrorists Stab, Wound IDF Soldier in Attack near Hebron.” The Jerusalem Post. Jpost Inc., 25 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.
Levine, Jason. “Zionism: A Definition of Zionism.” Jewish Virtual Library. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/zionism.html.
Mulder, Emily. “Israel Opens Probe after Soldier Shoots Wounded Palestinian in Head.” Maan News Agency. 25 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.