“Normally, a regular bullet breaks the leg [upon impact]. But these bullets create massive wounds, indicating that an explosion happened inside the body. It’s an expanding bullet. It pulverizes the leg, and the leg gets cut off [as a result].”
— Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman
“Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone.”
— Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, Head of Mission of MSF in Palestine
When he was hit by a bullet fired by Israeli forces during demonstrations in Gaza on April 6, Mohammed al-Zaieem lost so much blood, and his left leg was so deformed, he feared he wouldn’t survive. His arteries, veins and a large piece of bone were destroyed. His right leg wasn’t spared either as the round created a massive exit wound and then hit it as well.
By the time he was transferred to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah after undergoing seven surgeries in Gaza, there was nothing doctors could do to save his left leg. It had to be amputated, unbeknown to al-Zaieem, 22, who was unconscious at the time.
“No one dared to tell him [when he woke up from the surgery]. I couldn’t,” said his cousin of the same name, who lives in the occupied West Bank.
India has gradually become Israel’s largest defense customer. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), between 2012 and 2016, India bought 41 per cent of total Israeli arms exports.
In an interview on Voice of Palestine radio station recently, Majid Khalidi, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, announced the visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the occupied Palestinian territories this weekend. Alongside a tour to Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah to honour the late Palestinian leader, the Prime Minister is expected to discuss issues related to information technology, tourism and health during this brief stopover on the broader Middle East tour.
Modi’s upcoming visit to Ramallah, a first for an Indian premier, is being hailed as historic by his Palestinian hosts. However, a closer scrutiny of New Delhi’s ties with Israel along with India’s own record of military control in places like Kashmir reveals an entirely different picture.
“The military alliance between the United States and Israel has long been at odds with the stated intentions of successive administrations in Washington to foster peace in the Holy Land. One White House after another has preferred the “solution” of having it both ways: supporting a two-state solution while richly rewarding, with lethal weaponry, an incorrigible client state that was working as fast as it could to undermine just such a solution.”
Washington has finally thrown in the towel on its long, tortured efforts to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians. You won’t find any acknowledgement of this in the official record. Formally, the United States still supports a two-state solution to the conflict. But the Obama administration’s recent 10-year, $38 billion pledge to renew Israel’s arsenal of weaponry, while still ostensibly pursuing “peace,” makes clear just how bankrupt that policy is.
For two decades, Israeli leaders and their neoconservative backers in this country, hell-bent on building and expanding settlements on Palestinian land, have worked to undermine America’s stated efforts—and paid no price. Now, with that record weapons package, the United States has made it all too clear that they won’t have to. Ever.