To those who dwell in Palestine and Israel who oppose injustice and are working in solidarity to end Israel’s cruelty, salutations, and greetings to the people of the world who support their struggle. The appalling death yesterday of Jawaher Abu Rahmah from inhalation of tear gas fired by the Israeli Occupation Forces at a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in protesting the apartheid wall and Israeli land theft is an unwelcome beginning to the year.
The Israeli IOF spokesman attempted to muddy the waters and smear Palestinians by suggesting they created a false story about Jawaher’s death.
An Israeli military statement issued Saturday evening said Palestinians initially reported that Abu Rahmah was released from hospital Friday and died at home. “Subsequently the Palestinians changed their version of events, claiming that she died in the hospital,” the statement continued.
A military spokesman did not immediately know who the Palestinians quoted in the statement were, but said he would look into it.
Bil’in popular committee spokesman Jonathan Pollak said the statement was a “shameless lie aimed at distorting reality.”
Abu Rahmah arrived at the hospital unconscious and doctors were unable to revive her, Pollak said. 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.
More IOF lies have bubbled up through the zionist swamp. Jewish Voices for Peace @jvplive tweeted at the time from the protest : “One eye injury and jawaher – sister of bassem who was killed last year at a demo -was taken to the hospital for gas inhalation.”
Journalist Lisa Goldman, who was also present at the protest, has translated Jonathan Pollak’s collection of witness statements.
Ali Abunimah @avinunu also notes on twitter: In report on Jawahir Abu Rahmah BBC World Service just lied that Israel’s wall is “built around the West Bank” (it’s built through it) #
Hundreds of Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv also to protest Jawaher’s murder. Lisa Goldman, who was also present at the Bil’in protest, reports:
The demonstration to protest Jawaher’s death by tear gas asphyxiation was announced mid-morning on Saturday, via Facebook and Twitter. Despite the short notice, it attracted at least 200 people. The crowd was sufficiently large to block traffic across from the Ministry of Defense (Kirya) on Kaplan Street, a main traffic artery that connects to the Ayalon Highway.
Waving poster-size mourning posters emblazoned with photos of Jawaher Abu Rahmeh and carrying placards with slogans in Hebrew and English, demonstrators 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).
Haaretz notes that former MK Musi Raz is “reportedly arrested and beaten by Israeli police” at the Tel Aviv protest against Jawaher’s murder.
According to Joseph Dana, another participant in the Bil’in protest, there’s a new form of BDS arisen in Israel.
Israeli activists protesting the killing of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah ‘returned’ spent tear gas canisters to the residence of the American ambassador to Israel late Saturday evening.
The tear gas used by the Israeli forces in Bil’in is manufactured by Combined Systems Inc.; a United States company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. This is the first protest where empty tear gas canisters have been returned to an ambassador’s home.
Approximately twenty five Israeli protesters gathered in front of the residence of American ambassador to Israel, James B. Cunningham around 1am local time. The protesters ‘returned’ loads of spent tear gas canisters collected in the West Bank village of Bil’in in protest of the murder of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah. The demonstrators also made noise throughout the Ambassador’s neighborhood informing residents of how American military aid to Israel is being used to kill unarmed and nonviolent demonstrators in the West Bank. They chanted, “one, two, three, four stop the occupation stop the war. Five, six, seven, eight end the funding (US) end the hate.”
Egypt yesterday gave permission for the Asia to Gaza Caravan — or Asia1 — to pass through Egypt to Gaza, according to Khaled Abdel Megid, a member of the Palestinian National Congress.
He said the Egyptian embassy in Damascus informed the convoy of the permit that allows only 120 activists entry to Egypt and then Gaza. It denied entry to 46 activists from Iran and Jordan.
Egypt will not allow 10 generators donated by the Iranians to enter to the besieged Gaza Strip. This will decrease the size of the humanitarian aid convoy to below 300 tons, which will be limited to food and medical aid in addition to toys, according to Abdel-Meguid.
The Asia to Gaza Caravan consists of approximately 160 people from more than 15 countries, including Iran, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Kuwait. It was scheduled to reach Gaza by 27 December, in time for the second anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on the Strip that started on 28 December 2008.
Approximately 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,000 injured or maimed in the three-week war. Half of Gaza’s infrastructure was destroyed and remains unrepaired as a result of Israel’s siege, which includes a ban on the entry of building materials into the Strip.
The time has come for justice, an end to the lies and crimes of those who consider themselves privileged and above others, who maintain their privilege by stepping on and stealing from those whom they oppress. Justice is for all, equal rights are for all. Please boycott, sanction and divest from apartheid Israel until the Occupation is ended and Palestinians have attained their just rights.
Happy new year to everyone! I am blessed with the best online friends one could imagine, sources of joy, knowledge and companionship largely absent from the elitist, white-privileged area of Queensland, Australia in which I live. Thank you 🙂
UPDATE January 7
It may be a nonlethal weapon, but tear gas can have serious effects. A 2003 article published by four Israeli army doctors in Archives of Toxicology noted that CS gas — the type used by the IDF at these protests — causes tearing and burning for about 15 to 30 minutes, and this is lessened if people are moved into fresh air. The army has insisted on the safety of CS beyond these immediate effects. But the Israeli army doctors’ article noted, “At high concentrations, enclosed spaces, or prolonged exposures, severe side effects may occur and human deaths from lacrimating [tearing] agents have been reported.”
A 2009 article in the British Medical Journal came to similar conclusions, noting that tear gas is “not a gas at all, but a toxic chemical irritant.”
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