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May 11, 2002
Many Palestinians Killed, but few are reported

By Ali Abunimah


Ali Abunimah challenges NPR

To: atc@npr.org, nprnews@npr.org, morning@npr.org
Cc: ombudsman@npr.org
Subject: NPR--Many Palestinians killed, but few are reported

May 9, 2002

Dear NPR News,

Once again NPR has fallen into its old pattern of assiduously and repeatedly reporting on Israelis killed by Palestinians, but ignoring the deaths of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces. Almost every news bulletin includes a repetition of the death toll from the recent horrific suicide bombing in Rishon Letzion, and when four Israeli settlers, including a two-year old girl were killed in the occupied West Bank last week, NPR included it in a number of reports.

And yet almost never mentioned are the dozens of Palestinians who continue to be killed on a daily basis by the Israeli occupation.

To make things easy for you, I have documented the deaths of 22 Palestinians just since the beginning of May, entirely from wire service reports. Among the dead are 15 unarmed civilians (7 children, 2 women, and 6 men), 2 Palestinian police officers, and 5 alleged 'gunmen.' Hence, as usual, the vast majority of the people killed are unarmed civilians:

May 1, Rafah, Occupied Gaza:

* Huda Muhammad Shaluf, age 2, was killed by shrapnel wounds to her head when Israeli tanks fired at her house in Rafah, Gaza. Several other members of her family were injured. * Bilal al-Derbi, 22 and Ahmed Abu Khebleh, 21, were killed after being struck in the head by Israeli machine-gun fire in their homes before dawn. * Abdallah Shaluf, 23, was killed by a gunshot to the head while standing outside his home.

May 2, Rafah, Occupied Gaza:

* Sabha Abu Ghanem, 48, was killed by gunshots to her chest as Israeli occupation forces mounted on tanks and armed bulldozers advanced into the town firing heavy machine-guns. Three others, including another women were injured in the incident.

May 3, Rafah, Occupied Gaza:

* Ibrahim Hamad, 19, died of his injuries two weeks after being hit. On April 22 he suffered severe injuries to his head when Israeli tanks shelled Rafah. Two other people were injured in that incident.

May 3, Bethlehem, Occupied West Bank:

* Nidal Ismail, 12, and his brother Abed Khaled Ismail, 10, were killed by unexploded Israeli ordnance while playing in an abandoned Palestinian police station which had just been vacated by Israeli occupation forces. Their 14-year-old brother Noor Ismail lost both of his legs and a hand in the explosion.

May 3, Nablus, Occupied West Bank:

* Abdel Karim Arja, a member of the Palestinian security forces was killed by Israeli forces making an incursion into the city.

May 4, Bethlehem, Occupied West Bank:

* Khalas Dajahrah, 35, one of the Palestinians besieged in the Church of the Nativity was shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper. He died after being taken to an Israeli hospital. Israel claimed he was a "highly wanted terrorist."

May 4, Al Qarara, Occupied Gaza:

* Ramzi Ayid, 25, a Palestinian police man, was killed by a gunfire to his head while standing at his checkpoint, as Israeli tanks bore down on him.

May 5, Tulkarem, Occupied West Bank:

* Tamer Abu Sirriyeh, age 8, was killed by gunshot wounds to the chest when Israeli tanks opened fire with heavy machine-guns on a Palestinian refugee camp near Tulkarem. A 16-year old by was hit in the head and suffered severe injuries in the same incident.

May 5, Jenin, Occupied West Bank:

* Fatima Ibrahim Zakarneh, 30, and her son Bassem, age 4, and daughter Abir, age 3, were targeted and killed by Israeli tank fire, after Israeli occupation forces were reportedly spooked by a snapping tank tread and thought the noise was a bomb set off by the mother and her two toddlers.

May 6, Occupied Gaza:

* Hazen al-Wadya, 22, and Mahrus al-Bahtiti, 20, were killed in a gun battle with Israeli forces after infiltrating across the border, according to the Israeli occupation army's unverifiable claims.

* Suheil Ziada, 27, and Mazen Abu Razek, 23, were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces near Karni crossing. The occupation army claimed that the men were armed and attempting to infiltrate into Israel.

May 6, Rafah, Occupied Gaza:

* Hassan Abul Jaza, 54, died of gunshot wounds to the head that he had suffered five days previously when Israeli occupation forces attacked Rafah.

May 7, Rafah, Occupied Gaza:

* Jamal al-Shaar, 17, was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces as he came out of his home. His 15-year old brother was hot and injured. The occupation forces then demolished the house.

May 8, Jenin, Occupied West Bank:

* Majdi Muhammad Barham, 18, was shot in the head and killed by Israeli occupation forces who were invading the village of Araka, near Jenin.

The simple fact is that if one were to rely on NPR for one's information, one would be misled to believe--once again--that following Israel's massive assault on the West Bank, there had been a period of calm, shattered only by Tuesday's suicide bombing.

It is very important that if NPR is going to report on attacks on Israeli civilians, then it do the same for attacks on Palestinian civilians. Just because the suffering and security of Palestinians is nowhere on the United States' political agenda, does not mean it is not news.


Ali Abunimah

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