What happens when Canadian media and the Canadian government ignore the ongoing killing of Palestinians in Gaza?


naser musabeh

Eleven year old Naser Musabeh was the latest (and the youngest) Palestinian protester to be killed in Gaza by Israeli snipers. Six others were killed and over 90 injured by rifle fire on Friday.  It’s hard to imagine the IDF thought that Naser represented a threat to Israel. The killings were all but ignored by Canadian media. And not mentioned at all by Canadian government officials. Read more

Thousands of desperate Palestinians gather every Friday along the fence which Israel uses to keep nearly 2 million people locked up in Gaza, an area less than 15% of Ottawa.

The weekly demonstrations are part of the Palestinian Great March of Return whose objective is to bring world attention to their desperate situation. The demonstrations started on March 30th and have continued every week since then and have each time been met with deadly Israeli fire. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed so far. One Israeli soldier was killed in August when a frustrated Palestinian returned fire.

Israeli forces use a variety of methods to repress and intimidate including tear gas and selected killing by sniper fire. The main objective appears to be to intimidate.

At last Friday’s demonstration 7 Palestinians were killed and another 90 seriously injured.

But as this article goes to press, there have only been a few references to these most recent killings in Canadian media: a brief report, published in the National Post and some of its affiliates (https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/the-latest-hundreds-at-funeral-of-killed-palestinian-boy), and a longer article, published by Global News (https://globalnews.ca/news/4498169/israel-kills-palestinians-gaza-border-protests/).

Excerpt from the Vancouver Sun – a National Post affiliatevancouver sun

Friday Sept 28 3:10 p.m.

Thousands attended funerals for seven Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in deadliest day of protests aimed at Gaza’s border blockade in several months.

Among those killed near Gaza’s perimeter fence were two boys, ages 11 and 14. A Gaza rights group says the 11-year-old is the youngest to have been killed by Israeli fire in the protests.

The top U.N. humanitarian official in the region, Jamie McGoldrick, said Saturday he is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life. He said the sides must ensure children aren’t the target of violence or put at risk of violence.

In Friday’s protest, thousands rallied near the fence, with hundreds breaching it in one area. Amateur videos showed protesters kissing the ground on the Israeli side amid sound of repeated gunshots.

11:55 a.m.

Hundreds have attended the funeral of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently the youngest killed by Israeli fire in six months of protests along Gaza’s perimeter fence.

Nasser Musabeh was among seven protesters who Gaza health officials say were killed by Israeli troops near the fence Friday.


Friday marked the deadliest day of protests since mid-May when 60 Palestinians were killed.

Gaza health officials initially said Musabeh was 12. However, his family gave his date of birth as Dec. 29, 2006.

Another 11-year-old was previously killed in unclear circumstances in the protests by a blunt object.

What are the consequences?

CTIP finds it hard to believe that IDF sharpshooters really felt young Naser represented a threat to Israel, or to any Israeli Jews. It seems more plausible that killing children is intended to demonstrate to Palestinians that Israel can act with impunity. The weak coverage by Canadian media, (and complete silence from the Canadian government), would seem to give a green light to the IDF to act without restraint.

Of course CTIP deplores the loss of life on either side. A Jewish Israeli life is just as important as a Palestinian life. But inversely, a Palestinian life is just as important as a Jewish one. And there is no evidence that any Jewish life was threatened, directly or indirectly, by 11 year old Naser Musabeh.


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We accept guest columnists and encourage brief comments (under 100 words) from serious readers. To learn more about what we do, contact us at: chair.ctip@gmail.com.


  1. Thanks for this reminder.

    However, ’twas ever thus. I was making weekly trips to Gaza in the early ’90s when IDF snipers were randomly picking off kids returning from school, from watchtowers amidst refugee camps. Meanwhile sewage from settlements was trucked in and dumped in the camps’ cesspools.

    Canadian government response then and now: crickets.

  2. Silence shows bias and even complicity and is far from Canadian oolicy decrying all violence in the conflict and strong support of a 2 state soln to resolve the conflict. It should be noted that PMJT initially expressed concern at the Gaza killings and specifically mentioned the use of live amunition. But Bnai Brith Canada immediately demanded that PMJT should retract his statement and apologize to the Canadian Jewish community. Subsewuently Canada did not support any UN initiative to condemn the Gaza killinga. There was no communication from the Canadian ambassador\ embassy in Telaviv nor the from the Canadian rep office condemnibg or expressing concern about the Gaza killings; only a condemnation of the killing of israeli US settler Ari Fuld. Canada should get its policy back on track to stop these killings

  3. In a classic “blame the victim” propaganda move, the IDF released a photo of a boy who looks like Nasser setting fire to a tire near the fence. The photo was circulated by an organization called “United With Israel” accompanied by text that called this attempt to create a smokescreen that would interfere with Israeli snipers, an act of terrorism aimed at Israeli children. Reader comments referred to the protestors as cockroaches and called for mass killings. We need to counter this propaganda with facts and perspective. Creating a smokescreen is a defensive move that threatens nobody, certainly not Israeli children.

  4. Thank you for reporting this, Peter. It think after six months into the Great Return March, it’s become evident that Israeli snipers act with full impunity. On one hand, their officials guarantee them protection and on the other, this also gives them assurance that on the int’l level they won’t be prosecuted. This is from a legal point of view. But from a purely human viewpoint, I think that killing of these young men and children who pose absolutely no threat whatsoever clearly demonstrates that those sharpshooters are heartless killers and cowards who have no sense of humanity. Any spectator who goes to the protests can see that although the protests are in hundreds, they are unarmed and pose no threat to the soldiers. They show their frustration and rejection of this ongoing 12 year-old blockade which has caged us in and deprived us of living in dignity or with any of the most basic human rights which other people around the world enjoy. Israeli impunity must end. This blockade must end. It’s time for people of conscience to speak up and stand with the oppressed and dehumanized people of Palestine.

    1. Hey Rana, thanks for making comment. I am always happy when people on the ground, who live in Gaza take the time to add perspective.
      Mr. Roytenberg, who made comments below, feels that perhaps this poor kid was being used by Hamas, perhaps, I suppose to gain sympathy.

      Do you have any thoughts on that? Are children taken/pushed/dragged/duped into going to the protests? How could it be that an 11 year old is at the protest? Help us understand.

  5. I am likewise saddened by the loss of life in Gaza. A new generation of martyrs will only lead to the continuation of the futile 100 year effort by the Arabs to deny the Jews their independence in any part of Palestine.

    However, your piece downplays the breach of Israeli territory which made it necessary for the Israelis to fire. Contrary to your claims about the motives of the Israelis, the IDF rules of engagement require them to prevent incursions into Israeli territory. There is no reason for them to deliberately target children. That does not mean that the Israelis don’t sometimes hit the wrong target. It also doesn’t mean that Hamas was not using this poor boy as a child soldier, which may be why he was shot. Neither you nor I know for sure. Personally I trust the IDF accounts much more than those emerging from the totalitarian terrorist regime in Gaza

    The so-called protests are, in fact, a cynical use of civilians to shield military action by Hamas forces in their repeated attempts to invade Israel and kill Israelis. Hamas has a long record of attacking Israeli civilians both before and after they seized power in Gaza.

    I will conclude by noting that the ongoing killing of Israelis by Palestinians is largely ignored by the media as well, when it is not tacitly supported as legitimate “resistance”.

    1. Hey David, Thanks for writing. We usually don’t agree, but I appreciate your taking the time to lay out your perspective/concerns.
      If you can make it, I invite you to attend the presentation I will be making at Carleton University on October 10th based on my recent visit to Gaza. I was there for a week and attended the demonstrations. My observations do not at all square with your claim that the “so called protests” are being orchestrated by Hamas, or that their intent is to kill Israelis.
      I think I’m a reasonable guy, and I think you have been fed a story that does not line up with the facts as I saw them.

      1. Thanks Peter. I appreciate your courteous response. I’ll be away from the country on Oct 10, but I look forward to attending another of your events some time.

      2. Thank you David. I know we have differences. But i would like to try to find a way to narrow them. Perhaps we can find an occasion to do so.

        I hope you believe me when I say that I have no wish to do harm to any Jew, nor to allow any harm to come to Jews in Canada or Jewish civilians in Israel. I strongly embrace the fight against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. Of course, I do not include principled criticisms of the state of Israel as anti-Semitism, however.

    2. A classic tactic in propaganda is called “begging the question”. An author assumes the desired conclusion and then argues that it is true. In the current Gaza protests, the issue is whether or not territory seized by Israel is the exclusive property of those now called Israelis and whether or not they have the right to exclude the previous occupants from the seized area by imprisoning them in a tiny fraction of their original homeland. By using a phrase like “breach of Israeli territory”, it is possible to conclude that the killing of unarmed protestors is justified. Shooting unarmed protestors is never justified.

      Killing Israelis is not the purpose of these protesters. Release from unjust imprisonment is their goal. When people feel unjustly imprisoned, they will protest. Children will eagerly join the protest because it is their only source of hope for a normal life. It is false to assume that they are somebody’s pawns.

  6. A threat to public safety, political stability, terrorism inspired is what all govts say when violently putting down even legal peaceful demonstrations. It is clear that by the use of lethal force in this way repeatedly with unarmed demonstrators with a fully legitimate cause that Israel refuses to recognize or accomodate, Israel is potentially guilty of many crimes under international law. The excuse about Hamas control of participation in and using the demonstrations a cover for military incursions into Israel is patently untrue on many fronts. Palestine is now trying to refer Israel to the ICC which should be free to exercise and decide who is guilty of what crimes Israel and Palestine. Or both. The USA threats against the ICC cannot continue to protect IDF offenders from justice of one kind or another. If Israel wants an end to the vuolence and critics of its war crimes incl genocide and HR violations, it must negotiate with Palestine (including Hamas) to establish 2 equal states of Israel and Palestine with W and E Jerusalem as their respective capitals and each state completely sovereign over all their policies and governance including security. PMJT’s initial criticism and concern about the Gaza killings should be followed up with specific policy. Canada should support an ICC reference and a 2 state solution based on its longstanding policies.

  7. This is one of those rare moments when I feel almost totally speechless…this little boy looks much like my son at his age, like my grandson who is a few years younger. I weep for his mother and father and all his family and community. This should never have happened.

    No sniper has an accident…he sees clearly through his scope and he knows exactly whom he is killing. As a Jewish woman I am appalled, ashamed, angry, horrified and disgusted at this incident. And at all the incidents that have taken place over the last days, months, years by Israelis against Palestinians/Gazans!

    As well, I cannot figure out how our Prime Minister, who has beautiful children of his own, cannot find it in his heart to condemn this action as totally wrong, unacceptable and contemptible.

    Yes, I know the Israelis have suffered their losses too…and I also recognize that at times it could be argued reasonably that the Palestinians have ‘asked for it’. But enough is enough. The giant who can destroy life is not in a position to celebrate stomping on an ant.

  8. The only reason that Israel started and continues murdering and injuring peaceful demonstrators, using internationally outlawed Dum Dum bullets, which explode on impact, it’s because Israel does not want peaceful demonstrations to take hold and have any success. They don’t want it to spread to other areas. Because If it does, than they will be unable to continue brain washing Israelis and the world by that the Palestinians are all terrorists. Thus eliminating any sympathy toward the Palestinians, so they can continue with the blockade of Gaza and eliminating 2 million people from having any voice, and continue with land theft in West Bank with any backlash or criticism. The world and the powerful Jews in diaspora created and shielded Israel, which turned out a heartless monster.
    All the propaganda from Israel and Israel’s apologists about Hamas using human shields,is nothing but utter crap. It’s been used and misused countless times and not only in Gaza.Israeli army is the one who systematically used Palestinians as shields when forcing their way into Palestinian homes in the middle of the night. There are dozens of videos showing men, women and children spread out in the field near Gaza border, either talking or singing or praying or eating. Nothing as being armed or intending to attack. If it was the case preventing attack, Israel would’ve not have sharpshooters but the regular soldiers firing
    at attackers and not targeting individuals among thousands in different places out in the field.


    1. Hammas became the magic word like Anti Semitism. Every atrocity that Israel is doing, is justified by these magic words.

  9. Back to your issue of Canada’s media Peter. Until recently, perhaps the past six months, any criticism directed at Israel that was posted on CBC’s news webpages were summarily killed off by censors.
    Only of recent are CBC viewers now permitted to discuss the P/I disaster and even now, if a writer pens a comment that directly targets Netanyahu or implies that Israel has created an Apartheid regime can pretty much mean getting booted off the People’s Network.

    Given that the CBC claims to have a mandate that is centred around freedom of speech for it’s readers, listeners. etc., One can only assume that somewhere higher up in CBC, messages from politicians must be saying something entirely different.

    Given Canada’s usual MO of rubber stamping any US veto of anything perceived as negative to Israel , I have absolutely no trust or faith in my government ever playing honest broker in anything to do with Palestine or Israel.

    My faith in Canada’s main political parties is only slightly higher as none, to-date have uttered even a mild refrain of the killings and woundings that have continued unabated each Friday for the past half year.

    Our media deserve even less praise for their collective myopia.

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