Video by Yisrael Puterman
Video by David Reeb
Video by Yisrael Puterman
Video by David Reeb
Khader Adnan, a 33 year-old Palestinian, has been on hunger strike since mid December, shortly after he was put in administrative detention based on secret evidence. Residents of Nabi Saleh march in solidarity.
Residents of Nabi Saleh, joined by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, devoted their weekly Friday demonstration to support Khader Adnan.
Protesters held signs and pictures of Adnan, as they marched from the center of the village towards the confiscated lands. Demonstrators were met by volleys of tear-gas canisters. Heavy fog made it extremely difficult to trace the lines of fire and avoid injuries. Nonetheless, the army continued aiming directly at protesters. The Israeli Border Police also used the “skunk”, a water cannon spraying foul smelling liquid.
Following this assault, protesters created small rock barricades at the entrance to the village, aiming to prevent a deeper Israeli incursion. Others climbed the hilltops, overlooking the spring grabbed by Halamish settlers. Israeli soldiers followed, shooting sound bombs, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets directly at people and into houses. Some youths threw stones to ward off the soldiers. As they were retreating, soldiers shot a few live bullets above the heads of civilians.
The demonstration maintained for a number of hours. Around 4PM an Israeli military jeep carrying multiple-barrels cannon shot massive amounts of tear-gas that covered a large part of the village. The “skunk” was also used once more, more massively than before. Many suffered from gas inhalation and a few were injured from direct hit by tear gas canisters, among them a Turkish cameraman who was evacuated to a hospital with a suspected fracture.
Khader Adnan, 33, has been refusing to eat since mid-December, shortly after his arrest in the occupied West Bank, and has only drunk liquids since then. “He is not in good shape. People on a hunger strike for more than 50 days are in real danger. The doctors are extremely concerned,” said Yael Shavit, spokeswoman for Sieff Hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, where Adnan has been taken. “He refuses to accept any treatment. He has not agreed to be hooked up to an IV,” she said, referring to intravenous infusion. Despite his grave medical condition, Israeli military authorities have once again postponed action on Khader Adnan’s appeal against his four-month “administrative detention” – without charge or trial. One of the lawyers representing Adnan, Tamar Peleg-Sryck, said after the appeal: “It should be made clear that he is alleged of political opinions and political activities, without a hint of any sort of violence. However the army follows Shabaq (General Security Service) claim that he “endangers the security” and should remain in detention.”
The Israeli Internal Affairs Division announced today that it decided to close the investigation into the shooting of Israeli activist, Ben Ronen, due to lack of evidence. The decision was reached despite a video that clearly depicts the unlawful shooting.
Israeli activist, Ben Ronen, was informed today that the investigation into his shooting by last May was closed due to lack of evidence by the Israeli Internal Affairs Devision (IAD), which is responsible for investigating crimes committed by officers of the law. Ronen suffered multiple fractures to his hand, after a Border Police officer shot a tear-gas projectile directly at him from close range during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
In a letter received today, the IAD informed Ronen of their decision to close the case on grounds of insufficient evidence, saying, “An analysis of the evidence and different versions that arise from the case file brought us to the conclusion that a conviction in the case is improbable”.
The decision to not file indictments in the case was reached despite extensive video footage depicting the events preceding the shooting, the shooting itself and what followed it, as well as the officers’ attempts to prevent the documentation.
The footage clearly shows Border Police officers very violently attacking a group of peaceful protesters who were chanting slogans (at 00:55 into the video), especially targeting the women in the group.
Later in the video, at 03:15, the footage shows a Border Police officer who was indiscriminately shooting tear-gas projectiles directly at protesters and Ronen shouting at him to relax. The officer then steps a few meters back to his commander, who orders him to shoot Ronen, which he does. When reviewed frame-by-frame, the projectile can be seen flying towards Ronen.
Both the footage and medical documents attesting to Ronen’s injuries were handed to the IAD by Ronen’s lawyers, as well as testimonies by himself and other eye-witnesses.
Ronen’s lawyer, Adv. Gaby Lasky, said, “In light of such decisions, despite overwhelming evidence, it is impossible to view the Internal Affairs Devision as anything but a whitewash mechanism to enable the continued use of excessive force against Palestinians and their supporters”.
Israeli security forces regularly use tear-gas canister as projectiles, shooting them directly at protesters – as was done in Ronen’s case – when suppressing Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank. On December 9th, 2011, Mustafa Tamimi from Nabi Saleh suffered fatal injuries after an Israeli soldier shoot him in the face with a tear-gas projectile from close range while standing in safety inside an armored military jeep. Last Friday, a French citizen was similarly shoot with a tear-gas projectile in the back of her neck by a Border Police officer during a demonstration in the same village.
On Friday February the 3rd during the weekly popular resistance protests in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Israeli border police fired tear gas canisters at head level directly at a group of unarmed protesters who were perhaps 25 to 30 meters away from the border police and who were merely chanting, nothing more. It should be noted that the border police are known for their vicious disproportionate and violent reactions to these kinds of protests, more so than the army itself. One tear gas canister lightly grazed the cheek of a Palestinian female protester, before hitting a French activist in the back of her head and, still propelled by its velocity, continued its course to hit a Dutch activist in his waist.
The video above, shot by local activist Nariman Tamimi, clearly captures the moment and leaves no room for doubt as to what hit the French activist, contrary to the lies emitted from the IDF spokesperson and other Israeli officials on Twitter who initially and outrageously claimed that the activist was injured from a rock thrown by a Palestinian.
Firing tear gas canisters at high velocity directly at unarmed protesters has become the staple of the Israeli army’s reaction in popular resistance protests. Two months ago, Nabi Saleh resident 28 year old Mustafa Tamimi was killed after an Israeli soldier opened the back door of the armored jeep and shot a tear gas canister at Mustafa’s face from a distance of three meters. The army has paid lip service to conducting its own investigation within the incident, which if carried out will be anything but impartial.
Today I sat down with the French activist, 20 year old Amicie P. and her Palestinian fiancé Aram S. to discuss the details of the actions that took place yesterday. The injury seemed pretty serious at first, owing to the fact that there was a large amount of blood, so it was a huge relief to see Amicie sitting next to me casually smoking cigarette after cigarette with a bandage swathed around her head.
Do you remember the moments right before the Israeli border police fired at us?
Amicie: “I was discussing with Diederik [the Dutch activist who was injured in his waist] about when we were going to leave to Ramallah. We agreed to stay for five more minutes. I wasn’t aware of when I got shot. I just felt something hit my head. It hurt me so much. I fell down and couldn’t seem to get up. People were carrying me because I wasn’t able to stand on my feet and the Israeli [border police] were still shooting at us. I wasn’t able to run. The medic Muhanad Saleem was screaming at them to stop shooting.
“I was really so afraid. I didn’t know if my injury was serious or not. I saw a lot of blood and thought of Mustafa and how he was killed in December.”
Aram: “I have asthma. I inhaled a lot of tear gas and couldn’t think clearly. I tried to help her then found myself away from her. I went mad when I heard that she was taken to one of the Israeli jeeps but it turned out that that didn’t actually happen. I was afraid they were going to deport her because she didn’t have her passport with her.”
Amicie: “The soldier asked if I were Palestinian. They wanted to take me inside one of the jeeps. They were shocked when they found out I was French. One of the soldiers panicked and took me behind from where the rest of the soldiers were standing, behind a jeep. I didn’t know if he wanted to arrest me or not but he wanted me to go inside the jeep.”
The woman was hit in the back of her neck with a tear-gas projectile shot directly at her by a group of Border Police officers during the weekly demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh yesterday. More that 20 were injured during the demonstration.
Despite a ridiculing statement by the IDF spokesperson that the injury was caused by a stone (see here), the above video clearly shows the the injury was caused by a tear-gas projectile shot directly at a group of very peaceful protesters by Israeli Border Police officers. On December 9th, 2011, Mustafa Tamimi from Nabi Saleh suffered fatal injuries after soldiers shoot him in the face with a tear-gas projectile. The practice of shooting tear-gas canisters directly at people, in fact using them as projectiles, is widespread among Israeli soldiers suppressing Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank.
A Dutch man was also hit by a tear-gas projectile in the waist, and evacuated to the hospital with a suspected fracture.
The protest was attacked by the army well within the village shortly after it set out from the center of the village. The soldiers shot volleys of tear-gas and rubber-coated bullets at the march for no apparent reason. More than 20 injuries were recorded among the protesters throughout the day and two Palestinian journalists were detained.
In Nabi Saleh on Friday a French citizen–in the village for her first time–was struck in the back of the head by a high-velocity teargas canister fired by an Israeli soldier. The woman was part of a small group of activists that were walking down the main road out of the village, which was being closed off by a group of soldiers.
Although some youth from the village had been previously throwing stones from the hilltop above, the activists were unarmed and merely chanting slogans. When the group was approximately 25 to 30 meters away, the soldiers immediately began firing teargas canisters and rubber bullets directly at the people without warning. The group of around fourteen people turned to run and the girl was hit in the back of the head/neck area and dropped to the ground. A few of the others stopped to pick her up and a number of them were hit by rubber bullets.
A video shot by Bilal Tamimi, a resident of the village who was standing next to the soldiers, shows the entire incident. The teargas canister clearly ricochets off the girls head in mid-flight.
In response to the incident, Major Peter Lerner of the Israeli military began tweeting that “IDF soldiers on site” reported that she was hit from behind by Palestinian youths throwing stones. The video and eyewitnesses, including myself, can testify that this is false. There were no Palestinian youth standing behind the girl and she was struck after she turned to run from soldiers firing their weapons directly at unarmed activists. After witnesses and video refuted Major Lerner’s baseless assertion, he altered his story and tweeted that the Israeli military will investigate a teargas canister that ricocheted “off the ground.”