Teen critically injured as Israel cracks down on Nakba demos in Silwan, Ma’asara and Nabi Saleh

13 May, 2011: POPULAR STRUGGLE COORDINATION COMMITTEE

17 year-old was critically injured from live fire in East Jerusalem. An American protester suffered serious head injury after being hit by a tear-gas projectile shot directly at him from close range.

Israeli military and police forces responded heavy handedly to demonstrations commemorating 63 years to the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 today all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Morad Ayyash, a 17 year old from the Ras el-Amud neighborhood was shot in the stomach with live ammunition. He has reached the Muqassed hospital with no pulse and the doctors are now fighting for his life.

Tension also rose in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, where 19 protesters have been injured and 11 were arrested. During the evening hours, large police forces raided houses in Silwan and carried out additional arrests.

In the village of Ma’asara, south of Bethlehem, two protesters were arrested during a peaceful demonstration that was attacked with tear-gas for no apparent reason. One of those arrested is a member of the village’s popular committee. In Nabi Saleh – a regular target for military aggression recently – soldiers and Border Police officers injured no less than 25 protesters, including a Palestinian women in her 50s who was beaten up so badly that her wounds required her removal from the Salfeet Hospital to the bigger and more advanced Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. A 25 year-old American demonstrator suffered a serious head injury and an Israeli activist was diagnosed with two open fractures in his hand. Both were injured by tear-gas projectiles shot directly at them from short range, in violation of the Israeli Army’s open fire regulations. Four protesters were arrested in Nabi Saleh, including two Palestinian women.

Violence in Nabi Saleh started today after Israeli Border Police officers took over the village’s main junction and tried to disperse the demonstration while it was still well inside the village, The officers began charging the peaceful protesters with batons, shooting large amounts of tear-gas – partly shot directly at the demonstrators – and carrying out arrests.

The Israeli military and police’s violent and hysteric reaction to the Nakba day demonstrations today is an example to the fact that Israel cannot conceive handling Palestinian civil resistance to the Occupation in any means but military means. As September looms, it seems as if Israel chooses to tread not the path of democracy, but rather that of neighboring regimes like Egypt and Syria, and shoot at unarmed demonstrators.

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