It looks to me like sport hunting: the killing of 14 year old Yusef a-Shawamreh

[The following article is an unpublished op ed by Mondoweiss editor-at-large Annie Robbins.]

It looks to me like sport hunting: the killing of 14 year old Yusef a-Shawamreh
unpublished op ed Annie Robbins on April 6, 2014

A lot has been written about the killing of 14 year old Yusef Shawamreh. Investigations have taken place. Some people have called the manner of his death a war crime, a term wielded against Israel so often, and nary one impending retribution, the term has become almost meaningless. But to me, Shawamreh’s killing looks like another hunting incident. Under different circumstances, more commonly known as sport hunting.

Let’s begin with the photo of “a small boy, blue-eyed”, next to a fence on his father’s land. He is on one of his many plant-foraging excursions. “It was taken a few days before his death at the very spot at which he was killed.”

To arrive at the spot in which he was killed, the boy follows a descending dirt trail. The boy has followed the trail innumerable times, daily during the plant-picking season.

How Sport Hunting Works:
To be truly successful, a hunter studies its prey and learns its behaviors, habits and tracks. Off in the distance the soldiers, camouflaged, watched the boy and his friends. Two days before, other boys were beaten by police in this very same spot for traversing the very same area.

It was nothing personal:

The trio walked the same trail we did this week, alongside olive trees, wheat fields and a peach grove. The soldiers spotted them from a long way off; the whole area is exposed. It is also rife with security cameras. But the soldiers waited until the three went through the barriers and started to walk toward the field on the other side, which belongs to the dead boy’s family. Then they started shooting – using live ammunition, it must be emphasized.

Yusef ran for his life. A bullet struck him in the back of the thigh as he tried to get over the safety railing. He collapsed, bleeding badly.

The boy bled to death.

photo: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

Relatives of Palestinian teenager Yussef Shawamreh mourn outside his house in the West Bank village of Deir al-Asal, 15 kilometres from Hebron on March 19, 2014 after he was shot by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said. Witnesses said the victim had been foraging for local plants when he was shot.

How Sport Hunting Works

As hunting is no longer a necessary means for survival, its presence in our society is under scrutiny. While some want to maintain the time-honored tradition, others want to see a pastime they feel is unfair restricted by law. Hunting has evolved into a sport and gained a fan base and an opposition. Those who enjoy the sport can find its positive attributes, but anti-hunting organizations see it as cruel treatment of animals.

….Whether you’re for or against sport hunting, it seems that a consensus won’t be reached anytime soon.

The mentality of the hunter and his fan base:

“This is mine, I am the law here, I am the sovereign.”

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