…by Stuart Littlewood, Britain

First Published … May 19, 2021

The other evening ITV News included an item promoting Israel’s holiday industry. It was clearly aimed at Brits desperate to resume foreign travel abroad after the long Covid lockdown.

ITV surely knew that several authorities including the UN and Human Rights Watch now regard Israel as a racist state and an apartheid regime, and that Israeli propagandists were angling for inclusion on the UK Government’s ‘green light’ list of foreign holiday destinations about to be announced.

Of course, next day Israel was among the top safe choices declared by the Government.
When did ITV News, that beacon of balanced journalism, last report on the appalling crimes Israel commits daily against the Palestinians whose lands they illegally occupy and whose homes they continue to bulldoze?

When did ITV last report on the 805 Palestinian children killed by Israel’s occupation forces since their infamous Operation Cast Lead (carried out over Christmas and New Year 2008/2009) or the 342 Palestinian women they’ve slaughtered in the same period? These figures are supplied by B’Tselem, Israel’s own human rights organisation.

As at the end of September 2020, 157 Palestinian children were cooped up in Israeli jails. “The IPS (Israeli Prison Service) considers theses minors – both detainees and prisoners – criminal offenders.” Since October 2020 the IPS has stopped providing figures, a move B’Tselem is trying to get reversed.

And just as ITV were promoting holidays in Israel on their News programme the racist regime was at it again. Defense for Children International – Palestine issued this bulletin:

“Last night around 9 p.m., Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces reportedly confronted Palestinian youth at the village entrance prior to the shooting. Said was not involved in the confrontations at the time he was shot, according to information collected by our team.

Israeli forces deployed in a nearby olive grove fired live ammunition at Said as he approached the village entrance. He sustained at least two gunshot wounds: in the back near his right shoulder and pelvis. Both bullets exited from the front.

Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using intentional lethal force against Palestinian children when they pose no threat.

Israeli forces reportedly shot another youth in the back with live ammunition as he approached Said to help him. A Palestinian ambulance was prevented from reaching Said for at least 15 minutes, and when paramedics were finally allowed to approach the boy, he had no vital signs. He was transferred to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Said is the second Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2021. Systemic impunity has fostered a context where Israeli forces know no bounds, and so we must continue raising our voices to call for accountability.

Said had a full life ahead of him, and it is reprehensible and unconscionable that Israeli forces stole that from him.”

Israel attracted 3.6 million tourists in 2017, a record year. But many of the religious attractions, like those in the ancient city of Jerusalem, are not Israel’s but belong to the Palestinians who are not allowed the tourism benefits. Another cruel swindle.

Stuart Littlewood
8 May 2021


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