Protests in Israel against Killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah

Sunday, 02 January 2011 11:02 Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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In response to the killing of Bil’in resident Jawaher Abu Rahmah, around 25 Israeli activists took the empty tear gas canisters, used by the Israeli military in Bil’in during the Friday anti-apartheid wall demonstration during which Abu Rahmah was fatally injured, to the home of U. S. ambassador to Israel


James B. Cunningham at around 1am Sunday morning, reported activist Joseph Dana. The canisters are manufactured by the American company Combined Systems Inc., which is based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania.


Demonstrators marched through the neighborhood chanting, “One, two, three, four stop the occupation stop the war. Five, six, seven, eight end the funding (US) end the hate,” reported Dana.

The demonstrators were arrested and 11 of them, including two women over the age of sixty, will be held in jail until Tuesday. They are being charged with illegal demonstration, resisting arresting and tossing spent tear gas canisters over the fence of the US ambassador’s house.

Jawaher Abu Rahmah died at nine o’clock Saturday morning after inhaling large amounts of the tear gas that was sprayed at Bil’in village demonstrators by the Israeli military on Friday, 31 December. The 36 years old, whose brother Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed by a tear gas projectile fired at his chest by Israeli soldiers in April 2009, was taken to the hospital following the protest but did not respond to treatment.

Demonstrators reported that Israeli soldiers shot massive amounts of tear gas into the village, and that they felt that the tear gas was especially potent, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.

Abu Rahmah arrived at a Ramallah hospital unconscious and doctors were unable to revive her, said Jonathan Pollak, spokesperson for the Bil’in popular committee. She did not die because of a lack of medical treatment, but because Israeli forces used a lethal tear gas banned in several European countries, he added. (The UK has banned the gas since the 1960s because of its dangerous side effects.)

On Saturday evening, hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Eight people were arrested including former Knesset Minister Mossi Raz, of the left wing Meretz party.

Demonstrators waved posters with the photo of Jawaher Abu Rahmah and chanted in Hebrew:  “Citizens, awake! Fascism is already here!”  “Barak! Barak! Minister of Defense! How many demonstrators have you killed today?!” ; in English: “Apartheid! Fight back!”; and in Arabic: “Min Ghaza el Bil’in, hurra hurra Falasteen!” (from Gaza to Bil’in, freedom, freedom for Palestine).

The group also staged a sit in, blocking traffic on one of Tel Aviv’s main streets for more than 90 minutes. According to +972, an independent Israeli news site, a young woman with a megaphone told the police, “Return the people you arrested and we will disperse! Otherwise you will have to arrest all of us by force and there are a lot of us, so think about that carefully!” The crowd cheered in response.

21 demonstrators have been killed by the Israeli army since 2005 – 10 of them minors. Abu Rahmah is the first Palestinian to die as a result of Israeli military action in 2011.

Protests in Israel against Killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah.

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