What happens when both the Canadian media and government ignore the ongoing killing of Palestinians in Gaza?

2018.09.28.Naser Musabeh gaza11-yr killed

Eleven-year-old Naser Musabeh was the latest (and the youngest) Palestinian protester to be killed in Gaza by Israeli snipers. Six others were killed and over 90 injured by rifle fire on Friday.  It’s hard to imagine the IDF thought that Naser represented a threat to Israel. The killings were all but ignored by Canadian media. And not mentioned at all by Canadian government officials. 

Thousands of desperate Palestinians gather every Friday along the fence which Israel uses to keep nearly 2 million people locked up in Gaza, an area less than 15 per cent of Ottawa.

The weekly demonstrations are part of the Palestinian Great March of Return whose objective is to bring world attention to their desperate situation. The demonstrations started on March 30th and have continued every week since then and have each time been met with deadly Israeli fire. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed so far. One Israeli soldier was killed in August when a frustrated Palestinian returned fire.

Israeli forces use a variety of methods to repress and intimidate including tear gas and selected killing by sniper fire. The main objective appears to be to intimidate.

At last Friday’s demonstration 7 Palestinians were killed and another 90 seriously injured.

2018.09.28.Paramedics carry an injured protester during Great March

Paramedics carry an injured protester during Great March of Return demonstrations east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on September 28 | Ashraf AmraAPA images

But as this article goes to press, there have only been a few references to these most recent killings in Canadian media: a brief report, published in the National Post and some of its affiliates (https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/the-latest-hundreds-at-funeral-of-killed-palestinian-boy), and a longer article, published by Global News (https://globalnews.ca/news/4498169/israel-kills-palestinians-gaza-border-protests/).

Excerpt from the Vancouver Sun – a National Post affiliate:

Friday Sept 28 3:10 p.m.

Thousands attended funerals for seven Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in deadliest day of protests aimed at Gaza’s border blockade in several months.

Among those killed near Gaza’s perimeter fence were two boys, ages 11 and 14. A Gaza rights group says the 11-year-old is the youngest to have been killed by Israeli fire in the protests.

The top U.N. humanitarian official in the region, Jamie McGoldrick, said Saturday he is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life. He said the sides must ensure children aren’t the target of violence or put at risk of violence.

In Friday’s protest, thousands rallied near the fence, with hundreds breaching it in one area. Amateur videos showed protesters kissing the ground on the Israeli side amid sound of repeated gunshots.

11:55 a.m.

Hundreds have attended the funeral of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently the youngest killed by Israeli fire in six months of protests along Gaza’s perimeter fence.

Nasser Musabeh was among seven protesters who Gaza health officials say were killed by Israeli troops near the fence Friday.

Protests began in March and recently accelerated after the latest failure to negotiate an easing of Gaza’s 11-year-old border blockade. Israel and Egypt imposed the closure after the Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.

Friday marked the deadliest day of protests since mid-May when 60 Palestinians were killed.

Gaza health officials initially said Musabeh was 12. However, his family gave his date of birth as Dec. 29, 2006.

Another 11-year-old was previously killed in unclear circumstances in the protests by a blunt object.

What are the consequences?

CTIP finds it hard to believe that IDF sharpshooters really felt young Naser represented a threat to Israel, or to any Israeli Jews. It seems more plausible that killing children is intended to demonstrate to Palestinians that Israel can act with impunity. The weak coverage by Canadian media – and complete silence from the Canadian government –  would seem to give a green light to the IDF to act without restraint.

Of course CTIP deplores the loss of life on either side. A Jewish Israeli life is just as important as a Palestinian life. But inversely, a Palestinian life is just as important as a Jewish one. And there is no evidence that any Jewish life was threatened, directly or indirectly, by 11-year-old Naser Musabeh.


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the Israel/Palestine issue. It accepts guest columnists and encourages brief comments (under 100 words) from serious readers. To learn more about what they do, contact: chair.ctip@gmail.com.

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Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation, Palestine

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