A child was killed and up to 115 others were injured, three of them critically, when Israel’s occupation forces attacked local people defending the Jabal al-‘Arma mountain from takeover by illegal Israeli settlers on Wednesday March 11th.
Israel’s occupation forces arrived at dawn to the mountain to support the illegal settlers and attacked the defenders with both live and rubber-coated steel bullets, sonic grenades and tear-gas, launched both from armoured vehicles and a drone.
15-year-old Mohammad Abdul-Karim Hamayel was shot in head with a live bullet, according to some reports with a banned expanding bullet. The shooting was captured on video from a distance of a few dozen meters. He was taken to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he succumbed to his wounds.
Three other people, including a 17-year-old teenager, were shot in head with rubber-coated steel bullets, suffering critical injuries. The teenager, who was shot twice, and another person suffering from bleeding in the brain, are both in a life-threatening condition. The third person’s condition has stabilized.
A total of 112 people suffered injuries, 18 of them from being shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and 90 from inhaling tear-gas. There are reports of Israel’s occupation forces and illegal settlers hampering the operation of ambulances.
Jabal al-‘Arma is situated near the small town of Beita, south of the city of Nablus. It has an archaeological record of human habitation going back at least to the Bronze Age.
Illegal Israeli settlers have made three attempts to capture the mountain, strategically important because of its springs and cisterns. The first attempt on February 28th and a second one on March 2nd led to hundreds of people being injured.
Illegal Israeli settlers made a third attempt during the Tuesday – Wednesday night and were resisted by hundreds of locals who rushed to the mountain. The settlers want to establish an illegal colony outpost to the mountain to control the water, and to make it a tourist site for their fellow illegal settlers.
At least 11 people have died and up to 58 others have been injured after a massive fire broke out in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday March 5th.
Among the dead are at least four children, four women and two men. The age and gender of one victim is unknown. Among the named victims are youth Ziyad Zakri Hussein, and a mother and her two children: Iman Abu Mahrouq died with her young daughters, Lian and Manal Hasan Hussein.
There are fears that more bodies could be found in the ruins, and as up to 14 people have been critically injured, it is expected that the death toll will continue to increase.
There are conflicting claims about the origin of the fire, but most say the fire started in a bakery after a gas explosion. A gas cylinder explosion caused the devastating fire in the al-Sabra neighbourhood on February 1st 2018 in which 7 people died. This time several sources report that it wasn’t a gas cylinder that exploded at the bakery, but a pressurized balloon used for gas storage.
The fire rapidly spread to multiple neighbouring buildings and parked vehicles on the street, and according to multiple reports, more explosions followed. Some of these would have been the gasoline tanks of the vehicles exploding, although gas cylinders in the other destroyed buildings could have also exploded.
As electricity in the tiny coastal enclave is very limited, often six hours a day in recent weeks – itself an improvement – gas cylinders are essential for both businesses and homes. This is a direct result of the siege by the Israeli occupation, and kept up on the southern border by Egypt’s regime.
Beyond the bakery, at least three residential buildings, four small factories, two restaurants, an institute for the handicapped, a carpenter’s shop, 50 street stalls and 22 vehicles were destroyed.
Alternative claim for the origin of the fire is that a fuel tanker would have exploded. If it did, it could have been caused by the fire origin from the bakery – which had, according to an unverified claim made in social media, as much three tons of gas in storage.
When we look at the behaviour of Israel’s regime and its supporters, it has some similarities to the cognitive bias what is called the Dunning-Kruger effect after professors David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who did pioneer work on it in 1999 while at the Cornell University.
The Dunning-Kruger effect describes people who perform poorly in a particular subject and are often incapable of recognizing their own limits. Popularized, it’s often given the form “Incompetent people who think themselves competent”.
These subjects think they perform better than they do, they underestimate the capabilities and performance of others, which altogether gives them a sense of false self-confidence, which strengthens their belief in themselves and this leads them to make more mistakes.
This doesn’t mean that the people to whom the Dunning-Kruger effect refers to have low intelligence; their behaviour might be, but they themselves are not, ‘stupid’. Everyone has weaknesses they are incapable of noticing or admitting, and thus taking into account, which causes problems to them and others.
If you think you are doing better than you are, if you think others are doing worse than they are, then you will end up overestimating your own current situation and what you can achieve in future. The seeds of your future failure are sown by your inability to construct a realistic view of your current situation and your own ability to handle it.
DUNNING-KREGER EFFECT AND ISRAEL
We propose that the Dunning-Kreger effect can be applied to look at the behaviour of the leaders of Israel’s regime, which itself might be considered a kind of gestalt, and its supporters.
The current drive to annexation and permanent Apartheid by Israel’s regime shows many symptoms of the Dunning-Kruger effect. All words of warning are pushed aside, whether external or internal, and a vision of permanent 21st century Apartheid is seen as sustainabe and without real challenges.
As Israel has gotten away with war crimes and human rights violations for soon 72 years, all the time protected by shifting superpower backing, this has bred a belief that all the ‘successes’ in ethnic cleansing, occupation and land-theft are down to Israel’s superiority over Palestinians and its other neighbours.
To the Israeli elite and most of its majority population, Israel’s success is not down to super-power backing, 150 billion dollars in aid from the US alone and political protection in international areas by US and other allies, but instead it’s down to Israel just being better in everything because of its own, superior nature. Israel is not only more powerful, but its populace and leaders more intelligent and capable.
This is combined in the Israeli psyche with the idea that past success can only lead to more success, and that failures on the part of Israel’s oppressed victims – with the odds stacked against them – can only lead to more failures and defeat on their part. The past is a map of the future, and all the warning Cassandras can be dismissed.
This, identifying a false pattern or a pattern that can’t be sustained endlessly, is also connected to the Dunning-Kruger effect, strengthening the person’s false belief in their own competence. This mentally locks them into a behaviour which in the end can be self-destructive.
Incompetence backed by overwhelming brutality can seem like success for a long period of time, especially when the incompetent brute will be protected from consequences of (and thus finding out) their own incompetence by powerful backers. In this case, the current iteration of those backers, the Trump administration, is itself a troupe full of persons exemplifying the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Can you now see how Israel’s behaviour brings to mind the people that Dunning-Kruger effect describes? Israel overestimates the stremgth of its own current situation and its ability to sustain the current reality of oppression and segregation, while it underestimates the Palestinians and the possibility of change in the attitudes and behavour of rest of the world.
As a Zionist society Israel has successfully convinced itself that the only thing ever needed is more of the same: Occupation, illegal colony building and segregation.
THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY
Israel is little different from a sheltered, at best a mediocre progeny of a wealthy, powerful family, whose protective relatives ease his way in the world while obstructing those who stand on his way. He will end up seeing himself as an eminently successful person, who has earned his station thanks to his superiority to those who he has pushed aside.
He will believe that before him awaits only more success, and that nothing, and no one can stand on his way. This sets him apart from the truly competent people who tend to underestimate themselves and overestimate others’ capabilities. As a human being he will look like Donald Trump or Jared Kushner, and as a political entity like Israel.
But what happens when the protective shell around him, constructed by his powerful protectors, fails? What happens when he has to face the challenges unaided, just depending on his own real, and not exaggerated, abilities?
The Dunning-Kruger effect proposes that the more people learn about their real circumstances, the better they eventually are responding to the challenges they face. Israel has been able to avoid this collision with facts, but eventually the moment comes when the Potemkin’s Facades erected with the help of the ‘West’ will fall away.
Then the reality bites in, and the person or state has to rapidly come into terms with the reality around them and adjust to it – or face the dustbin of history. Nothing indicates that Israel is capable of the former.
How many Jewish victims of Austrian Fascism rose from the dead when the Austrian parliament on Thursday February 27th unanimously voted to condemn the BDS movement as ‘antisemitic’ and call that no support to the boycott of illegal Israeli colonies on occupied Palestinian land should be given?
Just like no Jewish victims of German fascism rose from the dead when Germany’s parliament passed a similar resolution, or when the German government wrote to the Internatuonal Criminal Court that it must give Israel’s regime immunity from prosecution by declaring that Palestine, a member state of the Rome statutes since 2012, is not under its jurisdiction.
Ash clouds didn’t form around the crematoriums in Auschwitz, pouring down inside them, the doors of the ovens used to burn a million people didn’t open from the inside and resurrected people, dead almost eighty years, didn’t crawl out, restored to life by the human sacrifice of Palestinians by Germany and Austria.
These resolutions bring only more death, Palestinian deaths mainly but also Israeli Jewish ones, and they don’t reduce the German and Austrian guilt one bit. If the German and Austrian politicians think it eases their consciences, then there is something very wrong with them: You don’t atone for the past atrocities committed by your country by aiding ongoing war crimes.
The Austrian and German parliaments voted to support illegal colonies on land brutally occupied for 53 years, they declared that the occupied people living under Apartheid rule are ‘antisemitic” for calling for the boycott of their oppressors, and those companies, Israeli and international, which profit from their oppression and suffering.
To pretend that occupied Palestinians are ‘antisemitic’ for calling for the boycott of those who profit from their suffering is as disgraceful as the myth that Austria was ‘the first victim of Nazism’. Austria, after all, became a fascist dictatorship before Germany, was allied to the Fascist dictatorship of Mussolini before he and Hitler joined forces, and the ruling Austrian Fascists allowed the Austrian Nazis to the Austrian government years before the Anschluss.
Fascist Austria was not a victim of the Nazis. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian himself. Anschluss in 1938 was not a real invasion, but a fusion of two Fascist states: There was no Austrian armed resistance at any point to the Nazi rule. Just like there is no Austrian support for Palestinian liberation now.
Palestinians are not antisemites for calling for the boycott of their occupiers and oppressors. To compare boycott of companies profiteering from war crimes to attacks on Jewish shops during the Kristallnacht is a monstrous act against the occupied Palestinians and the memory of the Jewish victims of the Nazi rule.
It’s not the role of Palestinians to be sacrifical lambs so that European politicians and parties – in Austria and Germany most of the latter including as founders former Nazis – can massage their bad consciences by helping to spill Palestinian blood, and denouncing them for not accepting to be oppressed slaves of an Apartheid state forever.
FEATURED PHOTO: Austria’s hard-right Conservative chancellor Sebastian Kurz, set to talk in the Israeli Lobby organization AIPAC’s meeting – boycotted by several major Democratic presidential candidates – with Israel’s prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu, charged with corruption by Israeli judicial authorities.
On Saturday March 30th, on the first anniversary of the beginning of the Great Return March in occupied Palestine’s besieged Gaza Strip and the 43rd Land Day, Israel’s occupation forces killed 5 people and injured up to 364 others in Gaza.
THE TRAGEDY IN LIGHT OF NUMBERS
3 of the victims killed on Saturday were children, all aged 17 according to most articles; the fifth victim who died on Sunday was aged 14 or 16. Minors form also a large percentage of those who were injured, as up 86 of the injured individuals are underage. Among the injured are also up to 29 women, 6-7 journalists and 3-6 medics.
14 people suffered life-threatening wounds, with 5 injured critically and 9 seriously; 121 people suffered moderate wounds and 184 mild injuries.
The only victim who was killed outside the anniversary demonstration itself was shot by Israeli occupation soldiers in the morning before the start of the 52nd Great Return March demonstration itself – and he was an adult, aged 20.
64 people were directly shot with live bullets, 16 were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and 13 were wounded with shrapnel from either type of bullets while 94 people were hit by shrapnel from tear gas grenades. 64 of those injured were hit in head or neck.
Counting all demonstrations held since March 30th 2018, not just the weekly (mainly Friday except in few occasions) main Great Return March demonstrations, Israeli occupation forces have killed up to 278 people and injured over 31 000 protestors, of which over 500 continue to suffer from life-threatening injuries.
The day was also the 43rd Land Day, held annually to mark the massacre of Palestinians protesting against land confiscation in Palestine 1948’s Galilee in 1976.
MUJAHID ABU AMSHA
16-year-old Mujahid Abu Amsha died of his injuries on Sunday. His death is said to have occurred as a result of ill effects resulting from inhaling Israeli occupaion tear-gas on Saturday.
Abu Amsha was from Beit Hanoun. Early report of his death gave his age as 14.
Tear-gas can be fatal in confined spaces, for people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, and for the elderly and the very young.
TAMER ABU AL-KHEIR
17-year-old Tamer Hashem Abu al-Kheir died in the evening at 19:00 pm from wounds he has suffered when he was shot in chest with a live bullet east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the small coastal enclave. He had been taken to hospital at 15:55 pm.
According to two sources Abu al-Kheir would have been aged 18, although most articles give his age as 17.
17-year-old Adham Nidal ‘Amara was killed dead east of Gaza City at approximately 15:15 pm. He was hit in face by a high-velocity tear-gas grenade launched by Israeli occupation forces.
Photographs shot that the front part of his mouth and lower jaw were torn apart and part of the grenade appeared to have been stuck in the back of his mouth.
17-year Bilal Mahmoud Najjar Abu Jamous died late on Saturday from wounds he had suffered when he was shot east of Khan Younis.
Najjar was a resident of Bani Soheila near Khan Younis.
20-year-old Mohammad Jihad Sa’ad was the oldest of the four people Israeli occupation troops killed on Saturday and he was the first to die.
Sa’ad, who had been wounded several times during the Great Return March by Israeli occupation forces, died after he was hit in chest either by a bullet or shrapnel as occupation soldiers targeted a group of people taking part part in a protest east of Gaza City in 07:00 am on the morning before the main demonstration began.
He was a resident of Sheja’eyya, where Isreali occupation forces killed over 120 people during a single day during the 2014 attack on Gaza.
Writing in Haaretz on March 24th the Israeli journalist Amira Hass revealed another extrajudicial execution of injured Palestinians by Israel’s occupation forces’ soldiers.
On March 4th Israeli occupation soldiers shot and killed two young Palestinian men, Amir Mahmoud Daraj(20) and Yousef Raed Anqawi(24), in the West Bank village of Kufr Nimeh after their car had hit two Israeli occupation forces’ members, causing them moderate injuries, before colliding with an armoured personnel carrier that had suffered a malfunction and was stranded on the road.
The incident took place at 03:30 am in a very bad weather, it was still dark, there was heavy fog which limited visibility even more and the road was wet and slippery after rain. The men were on their way to work in a bakery.
Israeli occupation claimed that the incident was ‘a car ramming attack’ and paraded ‘a confession’ it was claimed had gotten from the only survivor, Haytham Basel Alqam(20), who suffered injuries from the crash itself and was not shot. Hass reveals that the ‘confession’ was result of him being put in jail in presence of Arab collaborators who pretended to be fellow prisoners and who had apparently manipulated him.
More importantly Hass reveals that Israeli occupation had not told that all the shots fired by occupation forces’ members had come after the incident, and except one, minutes after it.
One shot came 10 seconds after the car had hit the armoured personnel carrier. The next six shots came 4 minutes and 30 seconds later, then 20 seconds later came two more shots, then 30 seconds after those came one, final shot.
This tells a story of extrajudicial executions – a double murder of the victims, who were painted as ‘terrorists’ by Israel’s occupation forces, who claimed that they had thrown previously ‘firebombs’.
Instead the real story is one of a war crime which Israel’s occupation forces and regime are trying to hide: A brutal killing of two young men, with the survivor destined to be imprisoned while murderers in occupation uniforms will stay free, their impunity an example for others to follow.
Israel’s occupation forces killed a teenage volunteer paramedic near Bethlehem on the occupied West Bank on the morning of Wednesday March 27th.
SHOT WHILE TRYING TO REACH WOUNDED
The shooting took place after Israel’s occupation forces’ troops had invaded the al-Deheisha refugee camp and had clashed with local youths, wounding 3-4 of them and abducting three people.
Sajed Abed al-Hakim Mezher, aged 17 or 18, was shot in his abdomen with a live bullet by Israeli occupation soldier at 06:00 am while he was running to reach a wounded person.
Metzher was wearing his medic’s uniform and a reflective vest when he was hit.
A fellow paramedic witnessed Mezher’s shooting:
“There were clashes, people were throwing stones, and four had been wounded. He ran to help someone and got shot. I was right behind him. He thought he had been hit in the leg. But there was no blood because it was the abdomen.”
Mezher was evacuated to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was still conscious near the end and was able to raise his hand and made a victory sign with his fingers.
His funeral took place in the afternoon in Bethlehem.
MARTYR OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN MOVEMENT
According to his family, he is “martyr of the international humanitarian movement”. The Mezhers lost his 15-year-old cousin Arkan Tha’er Mizhir on July 22nd 2018, when he was shot in chest by Israeli occupation soldier in the al-Deheisha camp.
Sajed’s father said that he ‘begged’ his son not to go, but Sajed had answered that he was trained to help in situations like the one they had and that his medical uniform would protect him:
“I begged him not to leave, I told him that the soldiers wouldn’t care if he was wearing a medical vest or not, but he insisted on going. He thought they wouldn’t shoot someone wearing a medical vest.
He told me that he cannot abandon the wounded at this moment, saying he was trained to provide humanitarian aid at times like this. He told me not to worry and that he was protected under international law wearing his official uniform… but he was still shot and killed.”
The local head of WHO in the occupied Palestinian territories, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub lamented Sajed Mezher’s killing: “We are saddened by this tragic loss. Health workers provide critical care and save lives. Their protection must be ensured. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Sajed’s family and our colleagues at PMRS.”
Israel’s occupation forces killed one young man and wounded six other people when they attacked youths’ ‘Night Confusion Units’ along besieged Gaza’s border with ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948 during the night of Saturday March 23rd – Sunday March 24th.
24-year-old Habib Masri was shot in chest with live ammunition east of Beit Hanoun late on Saturday and was critically wounded. He was first taken to a hospital in Jabalia and then moved to hospital in Gaza City because of his medical condition.
Efforts to save Masri failed and he died of his wounds at dawn on Sunday March 24th.
Habib Masri’s funeral took place on the Sunday afternoon in Beit Hanouin.
Israeli occupation forces wounded 3 people in drone strikes on Saturday. Further drone strikes on Sunday are not reported to have caused further injuries.
Israel’s occupation forces killed 2 young men and injured up to 181 people during the Great Return March in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday March 22nd.
The two victims have been identified as Nidal Abdel Karim Shatat and Jihad Munir Harara. Shatat, who was aged 27 or 29, was shot in chest east of al-Bureij refugee camp while Harara, aged 23 or 24, was killed east of Gaza City.
Photographs show attempt to resuscitate Shatat in a field medical tent. Shatat, a resident of al-Mughraqa, was wounded about 17:20 and his body arrived to a hospital at around 17:40.
According to Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades, Harara was its member. He arrived to hospital wounded at 16:50 and his death was announced at 17:30. He was a resident of the al-Shujayea neighbourhood.
Of those injured, 3 are said to have been suffered serious wounds. According to one source, 62 people could have been wounded with live bullets alone, with 53 children, 5 women, 3 journalists and one paramedic among the 181 injured.
An ambulance was targeted with tear gas canisters and sound bombs east of Gaza City by Israeli occupation troops.