BETHLEHEM - Two young Palestinian football players shot by Israeli forces last month have learned that they will never be able to play sports again due to their injuries, according to doctors.
Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were shot by Israeli soldiers as they were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank on Jan. 31. Israeli forces opened fire in their direction without warning as they were walking near a checkpoint.
Police dogs were subsequently unleashed on them before Israeli soldiers dragged them across the ground and beat them. The pair was subsequently were taken to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, where they underwent a number of operations to remove the bullets. Medical reports said that Jawhar was shot with 11 bullets, seven in his left foot, three in his right, and one in his left hand. Halabiya was shot once in each foot.
The two were taken to Ramallah governmental hospital before being transferred to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman.
Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub condemned the shooting and said that "Israeli brutality against them emphasizes the occupation's insistence on destroying Palestinian sport." Rajoub called for imposing penalties on the Israeli football association, and demanded its removal from the FIFA as it should not accept racist organizations that do not adhere to international law.
It's worth noting that Ma'an News and the International Middle East Media Center are among the few "major" news sources covering this story:
So where are The New York Times, CNN, CBS or any of the other news giants owned by Viacom and Time Warner? Well, Viacom and Time Warner are under the control of Jews (see: here and here), so their silence amidst Israel's wrongfulness is not the greatest surprise.
More importantly though, while it is sad that the story is not likely to appear in mainstream news, it is sadder that the permanently maimed footballers are unlikely to see legal justice. The reason is the Israeli soldiers will probably claim that they were following some protocol and order when they opened fire, which limits their liability in regards to the shooting. Moreover, the soldiers did not commit an act on par with, for example, mass genocide, which would invoke direct responsibility, so they won't be put on trial at the International Criminal Court. Taking these facts into consideration, Israel and its military are the lone sources left to be prosecuted.
Under international law, a state is responsible for the conduct of its military forces (Article 4 of ILC Articles on State Responsibility) regardless whether those forces were acting on state instructions. However, Israel cannot be brought to court by Palestine under the current rules of law, since only states can file suit against states and "Palestine" is not a state. In short, there is a legal loophole.
The door is open for another state to take legal action against Israel on behalf of Palestine (as per Article 48) and, undoubtedly, things would move pretty quickly if a major power like the US got involved. However, it is highly unlikely that the US will request legal action against Israel. The US did not even go after Israel when US citizens perished following the controversial attack against the USS Liberty. Secondly, the current US government is dominated by Jews who are pro-Israel, as well as others who have had their political careers financed by the Israeli lobby called AIPAC and have voted for large-scale US military aid to Israel just the same. Observing America's past behavior, as well as the loyalties of America's current political elite, it's hard to see why Israel should anticipate legal retaliation led by the US. Only time will tell if another power steps up to seek justice for the permanently maimed Palestinian footballers.