Teargas canister shot kills Palestinian demonstrator
Activists say Bassem Abu Rahmeh is 18th person to die since 2004 during demonstrations against West Bank barrier
Umm Ahmed Abu Rahmeh, left, and her two sons, react as the body of her son Bassem, 31, arrives at a hospital. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP
A Palestinian demonstrator was killed today when he was hit by a teargas canister fired by Israeli forces during a weekly demonstration against the West Bank barrier.
Bassem Abu Rahmeh, 29, was hit in the chest by a high-velocity gas canister during the protest in Bil’in. For the past four years Bil’in has been the scene of a weekly demonstration against the barrier, which cuts the village off from a large slice of its farmland.
Abu Rahmeh was taken to hospital in Ramallah but died of his injuries. The Israeli military said it was looking into the incident.
Activists opposed to the barrier said he was the 18th person to die since 2004 during demonstrations near or against the barrier or attempts to cut through the fence. An American protester, Tristan Anderson, was severely injured in the nearby village of Nilin last month when he was hit by a similar teargas canister fired by Israeli forces.
The barrier near Bil’in runs into the occupied West Bank, surrounding the large and fast-growing Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit. In September 2007, the Israeli supreme court ordered that the path of the barrier near Bil’in be rerouted to return some of the farmland to the village, although it has not yet been moved.
In a separate incident today, a Palestinian was shot dead by Jewish settlers when he tried to attack residents in the West Bank using a knife. The Israeli Zaka rescue service said he tried to stab several settlers in Beit Hagai before he was killed. One Israeli was injured.
Earlier this month, a Palestinian armed with an axe killed a 13-year-old boy in a nearby settlement and injured another boy, aged seven, before escaping.