The Living Dead in Palestine

Nothing sums up the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to a recent NBC News report, more than the video of the Palestinian teen Ahmad Manasrah, who was left to bleed in pain and distress on camera for the whole world to watch.

In the video that went viral on social media, Israeli vigilantes, mobs and bystanders recorded themselves hurling a barrage of obscene invectives and expletives on the squirming, bleeding Palestinian teen Ahmad. Prior to this, the young boy was run over by an Israeli settler’s vehicle, with some saying it was a military vehicle. One of the vigilantes is heard urging a police officer to “do him a favor and give him a bullet in the head,” a fact that was omitted from NBC’s report. The video also shows a police officer stomping over the boy and pushing him down on the ground to continue writhing in his agony, while paramedics denied him medical care.

Fortunately, Ahmad did not perish in the attempt to kill him. However, the time that he was left to endure and suffer in expectation of his ultimate death demonstrates that the dehumanization of the Palestinians is taking on a specific form at this stage in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The issue here is not only the extrajudicial executions captured in these images, but more importantly, the deferral of Palestinian death and the suspension of the victims’ lives between two deaths, one biological and the other symbolic.

In recent weeks, an increasing number of videos and images representing summary or extrajudicial executions and other forms of violence against Palestinian teens by trigger-happy Israeli state agents, settlers, vigilantes, mobs and bystanders have gone viral on social media. These videos and images show that the teens  … often shot at point blank range or in direct contact, left to bleed for some time, hanging there not only between life and death, but between two deaths. As they lay there, soaked in their blood… the shooters can be seen or have been reported to be seen either roaming around and taunting the victim, stomping or pinning them down, encircling them with their guns pointed at them or chasing them and repeatedly shooting them.

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