Israel: The KIA military dog ​​is more talked about than the death of a Palestinian girl

  • Former IDF soldier Ben Silberstein was training a dog named Zili and died in a firefight with Palestinian militants.
  • Silberstein took to Facebook to remember the dog as well as highlight the death of the Palestinian girl.
  • “A murdered Israeli dog gets more media coverage than a 5-year-old Palestinian girl killed in Gaza,” he said.

Zili was a nine-year-old Belgian Malinois who served in Israel’s elite anti-terrorist unit, the Yamam Police.

According to local reports, the dog has participated in hundreds of operations, but last week was his last mission. Earlier this week, Zili was killed in a firefight in Nablus in the West Bank.

Zili’s unit exchanged fire with three suspected Palestinian militants, including 26-year-old Ibrahim Nabulsi, a wanted senior member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the BBC reported.

Nabulsi was killed along with two other militants and 40 Palestinians were injured. The dog was the only Israelite cause.

His bravery was praised in Israel. “Zili was part of the unit, he was valued and a professional. He will be missed by the unit, the dog handlers and the fighters he accompanied on numerous operational missions,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement to i24 News.

Ben Silberstein, 29, a former IDF soldier who trained Zili, his namesake, took to Facebook to remember the dog and to highlight the moral ambiguity of the dog’s death in the larger context of Israeli and Palestinian civilian casualties. conflict.

“I have to admit that at first I had mixed feelings about this story – on the one hand, sadness for the loss of a dog I had known since the day he was born, and pride that so many people share his name and remember him. as a “hero,” he wrote.

But, he added: “I’m really a dog, but I’m also a person. I’m saddened by the death of a 5-year-old girl, I’m saddened by the indifference to her death.”

Silberstein was apparently referring to the death of five-year-old Alaa Kadum, who was playing outside a relative’s home in the Gaza Strip when an Israeli jet struck the street and killed her, The New York Times reported.

She was one of the victims of the latest fighting earlier this month between Israel and Palestinian militants based in the Gaza Strip. It started when Israeli forces killed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander. The militants responded by firing hundreds of rockets at Israel, most of which were shot down by the Iron Dome defense system.

After three days of fighting, 49 Palestinian civilians were killed. During the Israeli strikes, 30 people died, including 17 civilians, among them three girls, one boy and four women. According to a Haaretz report, failed Palestinian rocket launches killed 19 people, including 12 children.

“The reality we live in is that a dead Israeli dog gets more media coverage than a 5-year-old Palestinian girl killed in Gaza,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I loved Seeley,” Silberstein wrote, “I know he did a lot of good things to protect me and my friends, both in and out of the military. Even now, I hope he helps me raise an important issue to be discussed, and I hope it will protect me and my friends even better in the future. May his memory be a blessing.”

“She was an innocent little girl”

The grandfather of Palestinian girl Alaa Kadum carries her body in Gaza City on August 5, 2022.

The grandfather of Palestinian girl Alaa Kadum carries her body in Gaza City. August 5.

Ashraf Amra/Reuters

Alaa Kadum was killed around 4:30 p.m. on August 5 in an Israeli air strike in the Shujaya neighborhood of Gaza City.

According to Mohammed Abu Selmeyeh, director of Al Shifa Hospital, Alaa died instantly when shrapnel hit her forehead, chest and right leg.

“She was an innocent little girl,” her grandfather told The New York Times. “Did she launch rockets at the border? She was a child who wanted to see her whole life ahead of her.”

We must humanize the victims to end the conflict, says a former IDF soldier

Speaking to Insider, Silberstein said he made his Facebook post to draw attention to what he believes needs to be done to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We have to talk about the victims of this conflict on both sides,” he said. — If it’s a dog, whether it’s a five-year-old child from Gaza, or an Israeli soldier, an Israeli civilian or a Palestinian civilian. I think we should talk about it more, it’s the only way we can go towards reconciliation between the two peoples.”

He added that it is important to focus on what it means to live in an environment of constant conflict. He described communities “scarred by anxiety”, tormented by the knowledge that they or their loved ones could be killed at any moment.

Silberstein now works for the Geneva Initiative, a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization working to end the conflict.

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