Under the sounds of the Israeli bombardment and shelling on Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, an Israeli soldier approached a 74-year-old Palestinian woman, Ghalya Abu-Rida, to give her a sip of water. He gave her the water and took a photo with her. He, then, shot her in the head from a one-meter distance to end her life as a martyr after watching her bleed to death.
This is how Ahmad Qdeh, a journalist in Al-Aqsa T.V., described the scene that he witnessed during the latest Israeli aggression and still remembers its details. The spokesman of the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, shared the photo of an Israeli soldier holding the water bottle and helping the old woman drink as an example of the “humanity” of the Israeli army towards the civilians in the Gaza Strip.
The field executions were among the stories Qdeh reported during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip. He said, “Ghalya Ahmad Abu-Rida lived in Khuza’ area in the east of Khan Younis city. I live in that area, too, and I made a television report on her story after the Israeli soldiers had executed her during the aggression.”
“During the aggression, an Israeli soldier approached the old woman Abu-Rida and took a photo for another soldier while giving her water. They then executed her by shooting her in the head from a one-meter distance and let her bleed until she died,” he added.
Ghalya Abu-Rida was born in 1941. She lived by herself in a separate room near her brothers’ houses in Abu-Rida neighborhood in Khuza’ area. She had no children. Her neighborhood was of the first places invaded by the Israeli army during the aggression.
Majed Abu-Rida, Ghalya’s nephew, confirmed to the media that his aunt was suffering from vision impairment and could hardly see. He said that the Israeli army that is falsely claiming humanity executed his aunt in cold blood.
The old woman Ghalya with her weak body and white hair refused to leave her house after the Israeli army had threatened the residents of Khuza’ to evacuate. She thought that her old age would protect her from any targeting, so she stayed at her home and refused to join the majority of the residents who left the area as the invasion began.
On August 3, 2014, the Israeli forces announced a truce and allowed the medical staffs to reach Khuza’ area. Ghalya was found dead after she bled to death as she was shot in the head near her house. Her brother confirmed that the photo shared by the Israeli army supported the family’s belief that Ghalya was in the hands of the Israeli army. The family also believed that the area in which Ghalya appeared in the photo and in which she was found asserted that the Israeli forces killed her after taking the photo for the media.
Professor of media at the universities of Gaza, Ahmad Al-Farra, believed that “the photo the Israeli army spokesman shared is a misleading propaganda of the Israeli army to present a humane portrait of its soldiers. It can enhance the opportunity to pursue the Israeli army soldiers as war criminals before the International Criminal Court.”
“This photo proves the confusion of the Israeli army spokesman in defending his army. It proves that they killed civilians,” he added.
He continued, “The Israeli occupation lies and misinforms in an attempt to affect the international public opinion. It exploits the default of the Arab media and the Palestinian diplomacy in exposing the Israeli occupation crimes.” He demanded launching a large campaign to employ these facts to expose the Israeli lies and falsifications.
Al-Farra assured the need for a media enlightenment campaign to go side by side with the field battles to correct the false image that Israel presents about its army and the image of the resistance.
The Palestinian Information Center would like to point out that publishing the photo of Ghalya Abu-Rida while an Israeli soldier was giving her water before killing her in cold blood is a proof that her death matches the witnesses’ accounts about the Israeli army’s field execution of civilians. This refutes the misleading Israeli propaganda that the Palestinian civilian victims were only killed by mistake.
In 51 days of aggression, the Israeli occupation forces brutally massacred 2200 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians.