A disturbing video taken yesterday in the Israeli city of Ramat Hasharon shows Israeli police demonstrating to hundreds of elementary school children how they make sure “assailants” are dead—by continuing to fire at them as they lay on the ground.
Richard Silverstein describes the scene on his blog:
As the children sat in beautiful sunshine in the municipal park, helmeted policemen brandishing assault rifles came roaring to a stop on motorcycles in front of them. They dismounted and turned their guns on a car in the distance from which a single man exited. From a distance of a few hundred yards, the cops began firing at the victim, who promptly and agreeably fell to the ground. After he did so, the firing continued for a short time to ensure he was, to quote the Wizard of Oz, “most sincerely dead.” In Israeli military parlance, these final parting shots are called “confirming the kill.” Usually, the soldier walks up to the victim and fires point blank, even if the individual is wounded and incapacitated. This is something like what Elor Azarya did when he murdered a Palestinian in Hebron under controversial circumstances.
Elor Azarya was sentenced to just 18 months in jail for manslaughter after executing Abdul-Fattah Sharif while he lay on the ground. In the last 16 years, Israeli occupation forces have killed over 5,500 Palestinians, but not one Israeli soldier has ever been indicted for murder.
Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz published the remarks of the father of one the children present at the demonstration:
Has someone there lost his mind? It’s simply stupidity for its own sake, this demonstration of fire. Can’t you bring a traffic cop to demonstrate how he gives a ticket to an offender – they have to see how to dismantle magazines? It looks too violent, it’s not suitable for that age group, and in general – does it convey a message of security? Is it a message of safeguarding the community, which this day was meant to be? It mainly scares the children.
According to Ha’aretz, the police chief called the mayor of the city to apologize for the incident, but the Israel police publicly stated, “We regret that there are those who choose to present in a biased manner a positive and empowering event connecting the police and the community. An event at which children learn about good citizenship and the role of police in society.”
Last week, Israeli soldiers displayed fake amputated limbs and painted shrapnel and stab wounds on children as young as five years old during Independence Day celebrations.