Why is the European Union pretending not to see how Israel is deliberately killing civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip?
On Friday, Israel killed four more unarmed protesters, including 14-year-old Muhammad Ayyoub, and injured hundreds more.
This brought to more than 30 the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in its violent suppression of the Great March of Return rallies that began on 30 March and are planned to continue until Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
The victims include four children and a journalist.
Thousands more have been injured, more than 1,600 by live ammunition that has caused devastating injuries likely to leave them with lifelong disabilities.
Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor warned Israeli leaders that they could end up on trial for this violence against civilians.
But as I told The Real News on Friday, the coddling and rewards Israel receives, particularly from the United States and the European Union, means that Israeli leaders feel completely immune and are continuing to carry out these killings.
You can watch the video of that interview at the top of this page.
On Saturday, the European Union called on Israel “to refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters” and claimed that a “full investigation is needed to understand what happened and why” four more people, including the child Muhammad Ayyoub, were killed.
But once again, the EU has utterly failed to condemn Israel’s actions and is presenting itself as bewildered about what is happening, as if there has not already been a mountain of evidence collected by independent human rights and medical organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Al-Haq, B’Tselem, Al Mezan, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Médecins Sans Frontiers and a number of UN experts concerning the horrific results of Israel’s openly declared policy to shoot people who pose no conceivable threat.
This includes direct incitement by Israeli officers to kill children:
And on top of that, the slaying of Muhammad Ayyoub was seen by eyewitnesses and caught on video, showing that the boy presented no conceivable danger to anyone when he was killed:
If that isn’t enough, the Israeli army has defended the killing of Ayyoub, stating that all shots fired on Friday “were according to the rules of engagement.”
Yet let us take the EU at its word, that it believes in the need for an independent investigation in order to “understand” what is happening and find its way out of the fog.
On 31 March, the day after Israel killed 17 Palestinians as tens of thousands took part in the first Great March of Return rallies, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres in demanding “an independent and transparent investigation.”
On 18 April I wrote to Mogherini’s usually responsive press team to ask what the EU had done in the more than two weeks since its call for an investigation to make one happen.
“Please note I am not asking you to reiterate the EU’s desire, wish, aspiration, hope, belief etc, for such an investigation,” my inquiry stated. “My question now is very specific as to what actions the EU is taking.”
Three days, four killings and hundreds of injuries later, I have received no answer.
What I can say with certainty is that in the meantime EU officials and European governments continue to pour money into Israel’s arms industry.
And they have been effusively celebrating Israel’s so-called “independence” – the founding of an apartheid state that only continues to exist due to the subjugation, exculsion and regular massacres of Palestinians.