Shoot to Kill – in the leg?

So, I know I’ve been writing about how I’m not going to continually spit the news back at you. But, I feel this is an exception because it’s an example of something that people in Palestine told me about, and I recognized it therefore not as an isolated incident. I think it’s useful for people to know that something isn’t isolated, and that rather it’s an example of an everyday or at least normalized procedure.

The incident is the shooting of 3rd year Engineering student Ibrahim Sarhan, from Nablus in the West Bank. He was shot by an IDF shortly after leaving morning prayers, and although he was shot in the leg, Israelis prevented ambulances from reaching him for so long that he bled to death.

I don’t know what the motivation behind this tactic is – perhaps to avoid accusations of “shoot to kill” while carrying out extra-judicial killings. However, I do know that it is a normal tactic, and that it was widespread during the 2nd intifada.

Acts like this make a mockery of the IDF’s ethics code, and if interpreted properly reveal not only the brutality, but the stale normality of occupation. The difficult thing for outsiders is to be able to judge the exceptional incidents from the everyday.

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