Press Release 20 February 2007

What is now going through the mind of the soldier who fired a loaded weapon at a boy on the Sunday before last – and killed him?

This question was asked on 17th Dec 2006 by Gideon Levy, journalist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, in reponse to the shooting dead of 14 year old Jamil Jabaji.

Jamil liked horses, acted in the drama group of the local community centre, took karate lessons and was a member of the Boy Scouts. He was the tallest of the youngsters who stood on the cliff and threw stones at the jeep on the road below; maybe his height decreed his death. Maybe that’s why the soldier aimed specifically at his head.

Whatever the reason, the one bullet that entered the forehead and exited at the back of the neck, spelled instant death. Askar refugee camp lost the goalie of the camp’s children’s soccer team.

This same question could be asked of the soldiers responsible for the deaths of many others budding, young Palestinian footballers. Here are some

  • Adel Muqanen (17 years) and 11 year old Ali killed by a M16 machine gun on 18 June 2001 when playing football
  • Israeli human rights group,B’Tselem, exposed the lie of the occupation forces when its investigation confirmed that the 11 year old victim was playing football with his friends when he was fatally shot on 14 November 2001
  • Three teenagers and an eight-year-old, Yousef Abu Jaza, hit in the knee when soldiers shot at a group of children playing football in Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip (reported on July 28, 2003)
  • Omar Za’ran, 9 years old killed by tank fire 1 July 2004 when playing football.
  • Hassan Abu Zeid, Ashraf Mousa and Khaled Ghanem, all 15 years old, were shot dead on 9 April 2005 while playing football near the boundary fence of the Gaza Strip.
  • At the end of January 2007, 16 year old Taha Aljawi bled to death from a sniper’s bullet while playing football near the fence of an abandoned airfield.

And, of course, the one question which must be asked of Scotland’s football fraternity, the SFA, UEFA and FIFA is

Why is an Israeli football team playing in Scotland on Wednesday evening?

Why is support given to the representatives of a state which has no qualms in killing and injuring young children while at play. Scotland should have no part in this.

Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total boycott of all Israeli institutions, academic and cultural bodies and Israeli products – until as such times that the Israeli state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people, and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.

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