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Palestine: the assault on health and other war crimes

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7471.924 (Published 14 October 2004)
Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:924

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  1. Derek Summerfield (derek.summerfield@slam.nhs.uk), honorary senior lecturer
  1. Institute of Psychiatry, London

    Does the death of an Arab weigh the same as that of a US or Israeli citizen? The Israeli army, with utter impunity, has killed more unarmed Palestinian civilians since September 2000 than the number of people who died on September 11, 2001. In conducting 238 extrajudicial executions the army has also killed 186 bystanders (including 26 women and 39 children). Two thirds of the 621 children (two thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest—the sniper's wound. Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat. These statistics attract far less publicity than suicide bombings, atrocious though these are too.

    Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the killing of Asma al-Mughayr (16 years) and her brother Ahmad (13 years) on the roof terrace of their home in Rafah on 18 May, each with a single bullet to the head. …

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