DEMOS AND DEATHS CONTINUE IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE

SAME OLD, SAME OLD IN PALESTINE FOR THE NEW YEAR

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1000 protest in Bil’in; One protester in critical condition from tear gas inhalation

Posted by Joseph Dana

Protesters carrying back a dismantled part of the wall back to the village. Picture credit: Hamde Abu RahmahProtesters carrying back a dismantled part of the wall back to the village. Picture credit: Hamde Abu Rahmah 

Over a thousand protesters responded to the Bil’in Popular Committee’s call to march on the Wall in the village today, in what they announced to be “the last day of the Wall”. Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas towards protesters in Bil’in earlier today. She is currently in critical condition and is not responding to treatment. Another protester required hospitalization after being hit in the face with a tear-gas projectile shot directly at him.

Among those giving speeches before the demonstration were local leaders, as well as Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, who voiced his support for Bil’in and the popular struggle. The march then proceeded towards the Wall, where it was barraged with tear-gas on sight. Small organized groups of protesters then spread across the Wall to try and implement the popular committee’s announcement that he last day of the decade will indeed also be the last day of the Wall on Bil’in’s land. An overwhelming number of Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers spread along the path of the Wall, but were not able to stop demonstrators equipped with bolt-cutters from breaching through the Wall in three places. In one place, the protesters actually managed to carry a rather significant chunk of the Wall back to the village.

One protester was hit in the face with a tear-gas projectile shot directly at him, and required hospitalization. Doctors at the Ramallah hospital are currently fighting for Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s life, after an acute deterioration in her condition this evening. Abu Rahmah suffered from severe asphyxiation during today’s demonstration in Bil’in as a result of tear-gas inhalation, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital. She is currently diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear-gas, and is not responding to treatment. Jawaher Abu Rahmah is the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was shot dead with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during a demonstration in Bil’in on April 17th, 2009.

Written FOR

Joseph’s Update

 

 

 

Bil’in protester dies from tear gas poisoning

Palestinian PM Fayyad also present at the weekly West Bank anti-separation wall demonstration where Jawaher Abu Rahmah was critically injured.

By Amira Hass

A resident of the West Bank village of Bil’in died on Saturday morning in a Ramallah hospital after she choked on tear gas that was shot by IDF soldiers to disperse the crowd of demonstrators against the separation wall in the village on Friday.

bilin - Reuters - December 31 2010 Palestinian, Israeli and foreign activists run away from tear gas in the West Bank village of Bil’in, December 31, 2010.
Photo by: Reuters

Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36 years old, was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was killed by an extended-range tear gas projectile fired at his chest by IDF soldiers at a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil’in on April 17, 2009.

Weekly demonstrations against the fence have been held in Bil’in for the past five years, where villagers say the barrier unjustly separates them from their lands. In 2007, the Supreme Court accepted these arguments and ruled that the route of the fence should be move, and that some 170 acres of land be returned to the villagers. The IDF has yet to implement the court’s decision.

The weekly demonstrations against the separation wall set out from the village under the banner ‘The Last Day of the Wall.’ Although the IDF announced that the area was a closed military zone and set up a number of roadblocks around the village, hundreds of Palestinian, Israel and international demonstrators succeeded in reaching the center of the village by foot.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was also present at the demonstration in order to show support for the Palestinian popular struggle in Bil’in and throughout the West Bank. Fatah youth from various locations across the West Bank came to the village on Friday to participate in the demonstration.

Over the course of the demonstration, activists succeeded in tearing three holes in the chain-link fence that comprises the separation barrier in Bil’in, and in removing a section of it, which they later mounted on display in the center of the village.

Demonstrators reported that IDF soldiers shot massive amounts of tear gas into the village, and that they felt that the tear gas was especially potent. After Abu Rahmah choked on the gas, she was taken to a hospital in Ramallah.

The doctors that treated Abu Rahmah told her family that she was not responding to their treatment. Over the course of the night, her condition worsened, and she died at nine o’clock in the morning on Saturday.

fayyad - Reuters - December 31 2010 Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (C) takes part in a march inside the West Bank village of Bilin, December 31, 2010.
Photo by: Reuters

The IDF spokesperson has yet to issue an official public statement regarding the incident, but some IDF sources have said that there was no irregular use of tear gas at Friday’s demonstration.

The IDF sources say Abu Rahmah’s death may have been the result of an asthmatic condition compounded by the tear gas, and that if the gas had been any different than usual more people who have been negatively affected by it.

Over a year after Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s brother Bassem was killed by an extended-range tear gas projectile in April 2009, the IDF Military Advocate General ordered the army’s criminal investigations unit to investigate his death.

The investigation was initiated after video footage was produced showing that Abu Rahmah did not act violently and experts testified that the tear gas canister that killed him had been aimed directly at him, in violation of military orders.

Although Abu Rahmah’s death is still officially under investigation, IDF soldiers quietly resumed the use of the prohibited tear gas canisters to disperse demonstrations in the West Bank last month.

Source

5 Comments

  1. January 2, 2011 at 10:12

    […] (DesertPeace) – Same Old, Same Old in Palestine for the New Year – 1000 protest in Bil’in; One protester in critical condition from tear gas inhalation – Read More Here […]


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