International Solidarity Movement Nonviolence. Justice. Freedom. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:58:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Palestinian bystander shot dead during nightly Israel army arrest raid Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:58:54 +0000 18th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah team | Qalandiya, Occupied Palestine

The Israeli army shot dead a young Palestinian man in Qalandiya refugee camp.

The army invaded the camp at around 3:00 am on the 16th of December with the aim of making arrests. The young people of the camp came out to repel the army from the camp and clashes erupted.

Mahmoud Abdullah Addwan (21) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition during the clashes while he was standing on the balcony of his house.


He was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital.

After arresting Mujahid Mazen  Hamad (26) from his home, the army finally left the camp.

The army had been shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the heavy traffic near Qalandiya checkpoint since the morning, because of small protests by the local children.

Mahmoud’s body was taken to Abu Dis for an autopsy, and the funeral was attended by hundreds at 2:30pm.


After the prayer most of the youths marched to Qalandiya checkpoint, chanting “justice for Mahmoud”, continuing the morning clashes until later that evening.

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VIDEO: No donkeys allowed Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:23:06 +0000 17th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Mohammad Saleh, a sixty-six-year-old Palestinian resident of Tel Rumeida, al-Khalil (Hebron), waited with his mule outside Shuhada checkpoint for nine hours over the course of two days. He spent four hours waiting before being allowed through on Monday (15/12/14) evening.

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He then spent five hours Tuesday (16/12/14) attempting to cross in the opposite direction before eventually turning back, after being denied repeatedly by Israeli forces claiming that donkeys, mules, horses, and carts are not permitted to pass through the checkpoint.

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Shuhada checkpoint serves as the only clear passage between the H2 (Israeli-controlled) neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida and the H1 (Palestinian Authority-administered) neighbourhood of Bab Al-Zawiye, a route many Palestinians must traverse regularly in the course of their work and daily routines.

Mohammad arrived at the Bab Al-Zawiye side of the checkpoint at 13:40 on Mondayafternoon, his mule laden with empty milk jugs and saddlebags packed with various provisions. Israeli forces refused to let him through, claiming no animals were allowed past the checkpoint – a claim no one, including other international organisations at the scene as well as the Palestinian District Coordination Office for al-Khalil, had ever heard before.

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Mohammad explained that he had been allowed pass the checkpoint on Monday morning, with the promise that he would be let back through later in the day. When he returned, he found a new shift of soldiers and no one willing let him pass. The soldier manning the checkpoint claimed he needed permission from his commander to open the gate, which would allow Mohammad to pass with his mule.

An ISM volunteer at the scene later received a call explaining that the Israeli military’s new rule stated that horses, donkeys and mules were not permitted to pass through the checkpoint. No one, however, was able to explain why Mohammad had been allowed through that morning, but denied on his way home. “Look at my ID,” he told the soldier at one point, “I’m in your computer. I go through here all the time.”

He stayed waiting, sitting beside his mule on the cold concrete base of the fence, even as the afternoon turned into evening. The sky grew dark, though the lights from the checkpoint still illuminated the fences,
turnstiles, and barbed wire. Even the soldier seemed concerned, telling him to please go home, as it was cold and late and staying would not help him. But Mohammad had already made it clear he would not leave. About ten minutes later the soldier finally opened the gate, saying it was the “last time” the he would be allowed through. Although Mohammad heard the soldier’s message, it was clear he would not heed it. He intended to continue to resist, no matter what anyone told him.

Sure enough, the following morning he was once again standing outside the checkpoint, this time on the Tel Rumeida side, with full milk jugs tied to the back of his patient mule. The soldiers presented multiple reasons from denying him passage, from a prohibition on taking anything through the checkpoint too large to be carried through the turnstile, to the new rule against allowing donkeys, horses and mules through. ISM volunteers attempted to find a solution, offering to carry the milk jugs around the checkpoint and meet Mohammad and his mule on the other side. The Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint rejected all suggestions.

“Is the donkey the problem or the milk the problem?” One ISM activist eventually inquired.

“The donkey’s the problem,” a soldier replied.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The animal could have easily passed through the metal detector; only last night ISM activists had witnessed the ludicrous sight of Mohammad’s mule strolling through the concrete structure, empty milk jugs banging against the corners of the gateway. The turnstile served as the only obstacle to the his passage – an obstacle the soldier could easily remove by opening the gate on the other side of the metal detector and letting the mule pass around the turnstile and into Bab Al-Zawiye.

After five hours of waiting, Mohammad’s comment seemed by far the most accurate. “The soldiers are the problem,” he had responded in Arabic.

Barring donkeys, mules, and horses and carts is only the latest in a string of frustrating, humiliating regulations imposed on the people living near the checkpoint, who must pass through to work, study, and shop for essentials such as fresh food. Just a few days earlier a group of elderly Palestinians, ill people, young children, and teachers at a local school had also been forced to wait, some for up to three hours, before being allowed through.

When Israeli forces shut down the checkpoint after it was burnt nearly a month ago , barring most people from passing through for over three weeks, the Palestinians were forced to adapt. Local people know ways around the checkpoint; several paths lead through local families’ yards and over the walls and rubble between Tel Rumeida and Bab Al-Zawiye. These “rabbit runs,” however, are entirely unsuited to traveling through with a mule – as well as for anyone sick, elderly, or carrying large heavy objects.

Since the attempted burning of the checkpoint, the Israeli military rebuilt it larger and with more obstacles for anyone traveling through. One side now has a metal detector, and both sides are equipped with vertical metal turnstiles which are a major impediment to anyone trying to move through with large baggage. Soldiers continue to use the burning of the checkpoint to justify collective punishment imposed on the entire Palestinian population – young and old, men and women, healthy and ill – who live or work near the Shuhada checkpoint.

Any Palestinian might be stopped while attempting pass through.  Even with the checkpoint officially open, far too many are.  Soldiers regularly search bags and make people remove their belts and empty their pockets before being allowed through. These everyday humiliations accompany frequent ID checks and detentions, serving as an inescapable reminder of the illegal Israeli occupation. Soldiers present at checkpoints routinely cite newly imposed rules and orders from superior officers as reasons for denying people passage, but whether someone passes easily through a checkpoint or must wait for hours often seems to be determined by nothing more than the soldiers’ caprice.

Many Palestinians must pass through Shuhada checkpoint multiple times in a day, carrying items as diverse as fresh vegetables, tubs of oil, and gas for cooking and heating their homes. During the hours ISM volunteers stood waiting with Mohammed, they witnessed multiple people struggle with the cumbersome design of the rebuilt checkpoint. One woman was carrying too many grocery bags to be able to fit into the turnstile. Someone on the other side of the turnstile had to reach a hand between the metal bars and move one bag through, returning it to the woman once she had passed. Another Palestinian, this time a young boy, needed the help of multiple passers-by over several minutes to figure out how to get two tubs of oil
and a metal trolley through the turnstiles. Soldiers denied passage outright to boys who wanted to walk through the checkpoint with their bicycles.

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At one point on Monday night, a group of off-duty soldiers ran up Shuhada street and stopped near the checkpoint to rest, stretching and laughing, their easy freedom of movement a stark contrast to experiences of Palestinians struggling through Shuhada checkpoint. Almost all of Shuhada street has been closed off to Palestinians, reserved instead for the settlers and soldiers occupying H2. Even Palestinians who manage to get through the checkpoint must pursue long, circuitous routes between the surrounding areas of al-Khalil. Many, especially the elderly or disabled, are effectively barred from traveling to significant portions of the city their families have lived in for generations.

“I want to resist,” Mohammad told the ISM activists the first day they waited with him. He made sure the man translating said it twice, to make sure the ISM volunteers understood. “I want to resist,” he said, after
over three long hours of waiting to be allowed through.

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Israeli soldier kills PA minister at non-violent protest Thu, 11 Dec 2014 09:36:33 +0000 11th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Turmusaya, Occupied Palestine

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya.

ISM spoke to Abdallah Abu-Rahme, coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee and present at the demonstration yesterday.  “Yesterday was International Human Rights Day and we were going to plant olive trees in Turmusaya, on Palestinian land close to an illegal settlement outpost. We were completely non-violent but Israeli soldiers had gathered and made a line blocking us from the land, not allowing anyone to pass. Ziad Abu Ein, was standing face-to-face with a soldier, who then hit him on the head and in the face. He fell to the ground and when we took him to the ambulance, they told us he was dead.”

Photo  by Oren Ziv and Yotam Ronen/

Photo by Oren Ziv and Yotam Ronen/

Settlers have been attacking the village of Turmusaya for many years. Close to Turmusaya lies the illegal settlement outpost of Adei Ad and yesterday Yesh Din (an Israeli human rights organization) and four Palestinian villages, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice demanding that the military remove the illegal settlement outpost.

The petition argues that, “the outpost should be removed not only because it is constructed in part on private Palestinian land, but also because it constitutes a focus of criminal activities and grave violence against the Palestinian residents of the area with the goal of usurping their land and displacing its owners.” Wrote Yesh Din in a statement they released yesterday.

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Palestinian family’s home invaded, two youths arrested by Israeli soldiers in Azzun village Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:17:18 +0000 11th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Azzun, Occupied Palestine

At 3 am, on the 8th of December in Azzun whilst the Radwan family slept, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded their house and broke in.  They damaged the door as they entered, sweeping through the house and also breaking the doors of the kitchen cupboards. They ushered the nine family members into one room and forced them all sit on one sofa at gunpoint. The mother, speaking to ISM volunteers the day after her home was invaded and her sons arrested, recalled that there were too many soldiers to count that night.  They were everywhere, all over the inside and outside of the house.

The soldiers took everyone’s mobile phones and the hard drive from their computer. They asked for seventeen-year-old Abdallah first, ordering another brother to get clothes and shoes for him. No one was told what was happening or why. The army then told the mother to say goodbye to her seventeen-year-old son, but he was surrounded by soldiers so she could not reach him or see him.  She was was only able to cry out “ma’a salama!” – goodbye.

The soldiers then asked where 20 year old Mohammed was. They ordered his clothes and shoes to be brought as well. Again his mother was told to say goodbye, but again she could not because there were so many soldiers in the way.

Neither the family nor the boys were told why they were being arrested or where they were being taken. The ordeal lasted two hours. By 5 am, the army left and the family watched soldiers jumping from their roof and leaving from all sides of the house they had been surrounding.

The Radwan family lives in Azzun, a Palestinian village of about 12,000 people near the city of Qalqilya. Several illegal Israeli settlements surround the village, including Ma’ale Shomron, Ginot Shomeron and Alfei Menashe. The settlements encroach on Palestinian land, taking more and more each year. The Radwan family’s home is at the far end of the town, the closest house to the Ma’ale Shomron settlement. It is constantly targeted by the Israeli military and settlers.  CCTV cameras watch the house constantly, even as settlers and Israeli military attack the area with impunity.

One of the highest levels of detainees per capita of anywhere in the West Bank, coupled with 47% unemployment, has a severe impact on Azzun’s youth, a local municipality worker reported. Young prisoners are often unable to finish university degrees after their imprisonment, having lost the
motivation to go back to school. Released prisoners and their family members are also unable to obtain permits to work in Israel, making employment opportunities even more rare.

Every year about a hundred and seventy Palestinians are arrested in Azzun. Around seventy of the arrestees are under the age of sixteen. Some are imprisoned for ten months, others for one to five years. Prisoners have reported suffering torture, including isolation for weeks at a time.

Since Abdallah and Mohammed were arrested, their mother found out that her sons are being detained in Al Jalama prison, Haifa.  Israeli forces have given no reason for their detention, nor set a date for their trial.

Photo shows the illegal settlement of Ma'ale Shomron, this is the view from the house where the boys were arrested.

Photo shows the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Shomron, this is the view from the house where the boys were arrested (photo by ISM).

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Journalist most recent victim of Israeli military violence at Kufr Qaddum Tue, 09 Dec 2014 21:39:22 +0000 9th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Kufr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine

Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014.

The weekly demonstration aims to highlight the issue of the road that has been closed to Kafr Qaddum and demands for it to be reopened. The road is closed to Palestinians but connects several illegal Israeli settlements nearby. The road was once the Palestinians’ main route to the villages of Jit and Sarra, and to the city of Nablus. Residents of Kafr Qaddum and nearby villages must now use a 14 kilometer detour on badly paved roads through olive groves. This proves especially problematic in emergency situations when ambulances are trying to get patients to Nablus hospital. Kafr Qaddum villagers state that several people have died because of the longer ambulance trip.

Bashar has been going to the Kafr Qaddum demonstrations since they began four years ago. This particular one was a special demonstration in solidarity with Patrick, an Italian activist who was shot in the chest with a .22 caliber bullet the Friday before. The demonstration began peacefully with people holding Italian and Palestinian flags. A skunk water truck, a renowned demonstration repression technique, sprayed the people who were peacefully holding flags right at the beginning of the protest. Within ten minutes, Bashar had been shot in his left leg by an Israeli sniper.

The bullet used to shoot Bashar was an expanding bullet, often called a “dum-dum”. International law has declared their use illegal in war because they are so destructive. Bashar was shot by a sniper with a weapon that is only supposed to be used when soldiers are at mortal risk and skunk water, tear gas, rubber bullets, rubber coated steel bullets, and other nonlethal weapons have all proved ineffective. This is supposed to be the last weapon soldiers use before they shoot to kill with M16s. Witnesses say that Bashar was filming as he usually did when he was shot. He was no threat to the soldiers at all. Witnesses say that there were no people in front or behind him throwing stones.

Bashar was taken by ambulance to Nablus hospital. The X-ray showed that the dum-dum bullet did as it was designed to, breaking into many pieces when it entered his leg.

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Bashar had an operation on the 6th of December, the day after he was shot, to take out most of the bullet fragments.

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Doctors have decided to leavein some pieces for the time being because they are very close to veins and would be dangerous to remove. Bashar will be bed bound for two weeks until the decision is made, but his condition remains stable.

1Bashar leg wound

Within one week at Kufr Qaddum, three people were shot with lethal, live ammunition—two with .22 caliber bullets and one with a dum-dum. One was a journalist, another an international peace activist. None of them were any threat to the soldiers. So why, then, were they shot at? To create fear for all the people who are in solidarity with the Palestinians and who want to tell the world the story of what is happening here? To physically stop peaceful resistance using the most extreme repression techniques?

It will not work. Patrick and many other international, Palestinian and Israeli activists will continue to nonviolently resist the confiscation of their lands in Kufr Qaddum each week. Bashar will continue to report their stories to the world. The unnecessary use of violent repression techniques will only continue to delegitimize the illegal occupation of the Palestinian people.

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More young men and teenagers arrested by the Israeli military Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:46:24 +0000 9th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Nablus, Occupied Palestine

On December 8th in Nablus, the Israeli army broke into the homes of two families in Balata refugee camp and arrested two young Palestinians, 19-year-old Mujahed al Shekhalil and 17-year-old Yazan Hta.

In both cases, their homes were raised by the military in the middle of the night (3am and 3:30am) damaging doors and property inside the houses. At the time of the incursions, all family members were sleeping. The military forced all family members into one room whilst they arrested the teenagers. Both families state that between 15 and 20 soldiers broke into their homes, and they were given no reason for either the intrusions or the arrests.


In the village of Madama, on the same night, the Israeli army also entered the home of the Wajeihqut family and arrested 23-year-old Assad Allah. The army spent an hour inside the house between 2:20am and 3:20am, again forcing all family members inside one room. The family reported to ISM that the soldiers told Assad’s 9-year-old brother that if he did not stop speaking they would take him with his brother. Another brother was told that if he did not go into the room with the family then they would cut his head off.

The army confiscated every family members phone and stole the sim cards from them and the hard drive from the family computer. They also smashed the apartments heating system.

This was the fifth time Assad has been arrested and the family home has been raided by the army on numerous occasions.

In all cases, the families were not given a reason for the arrests or for the damage done to their homes, and do not have any information as to where their sons have been taken.

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More Palestinian protesters shot with .22 live ammunition Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:46:44 +0000 6th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah team | Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine

Yesterday, Israeli soldiers invaded Nabi Saleh during the Palestinian village’s weekly Friday demonstration and shot one young Palestinian in the leg with .22 caliber live ammunition. The soldiers also fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators, along with more rounds of the .22 live caliber bullets.

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“At one point, after the boy had been shot, a soldier fired three tear gas canisters straight at internationals and Palestinians who were just standing there, trying to see what was going on up the road,” recalled one ISM activist present at the scene. “He [the soldier] was quite close to us, and could easily see that no one was throwing any stones. The canisters landed no more than a few meters away.”

The young Palestinian who was shot is between seventeen and eighteen years old; he was rushed away from the scene and taken to a hospital for treatment. Nabi Saleh has been suffering from a spate of violence recently at the hands of Israeli forces, who shot three Palestinians including 38-year-old Nariman Tamimi at a demonstration two weeks ago and 14-year-old Ahmed Barghouti last Friday.

The Kufr Qaddum weekly demonstrations have been met with similar violence. Last week a Palestinian youth and an Italian ISM volunteer were both shot with .22 live ammunition in the chest. During yesterday’s protest a Palestinian journalist was shot in the leg with a .22 live bullet.

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Trial of American activist maimed by Israeli military to begin Fri, 05 Dec 2014 20:57:24 +0000 5th December 2014 | International Solidarity Movement| Occupied Palestine

Tristan Anderson’s civil trial against the Israeli Military will begin on Sunday 7 December at 10:00, Jerusalem District Court.

Tristan Anderson was critically injured after being shot in the head with a high velocity tear gas grenade by Israeli Border Police following a protest against the construction of the “Separation Wall” in March of 2009 in the West Bank village of Ni’ilin. Anderson, an international solidarity activist from Oakland, California, had arrived in the region a few weeks earlier with his American Jewish girlfriend who also attended demonstrations opposing the seizure of Palestinian land and freedoms for the building of the Wall.

According to its manufacturer, Combined Systems Inc (of the USA), High Velocity Tear Gas grenades are intended as “barricade penetrators” and have a range of several hundred meters. Tristan was shot in the face from about 60 meters away, crushing his skull, blinding him in one of his eyes, and sending shards of bone penetrating deep into his brain.

Tristan Hospital Photo 1

Years later Tristan continues to require around the clock care because of cognitive impairment and physical disability. He is also paralyzed on half his body and uses a wheelchair.

Tristan with his parents, Mike and Nancy Anderson in their home in Grass Valley, California.

Tristan with his parents, Mike and Nancy Anderson in their home in Grass Valley, California.

No criminal charges were ever filed against the officers who shot Tristan Anderson and the investigation into his shooting has been widely regarded as a sham.

The family of Tristan Anderson, represented by Israeli human rights attorney Lea Tsemel, have been waiting for years for their day in court. On the witness stand this week (Sunday 7 Dec and Thurs 11 December) will be other international activists who were with Tristan at the time of his shooting. They will give testimony about the shooting itself, their involvement in the protest movement, and about the checkpoint where Tristan’s ambulance was delayed by Israeli soldiers. Several Palestinian activists also witnessed the shooting, but have been banned from participating in the trial because they are West Bank residents and the court is in Jerusalem.

Additional court dates (in addition to 7 Dec and 11 Dec) are set for 25 December, 28 December, and 4 January.

Ni’lin continues to hold weekly demonstrations against the Wall.

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Israeli military court sentences Murad Eshtewi to 10 months in prison and a 10,000 NIS fine for participating in Kufr Qaddum protests Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:56:38 +0000 4th December 2014 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee | Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine

Salem military court has sentenced activist Murad Eshtewi, from Kufr Qaddum village, to 9 and a half months of prison, with an additional 10,000 shekel fine. Israeli forces arrested Eshtewi on April 29th, 2014 in the middle of the night accusing him of participating in and arranging Kufr Qaddum demonstrations.

The unjust decision of the military court states the following:

  • 9 and a half months of actual prison time.
  • 10,000 shekel non-refundable fine.
  • A 5-year probation period after his prison term, where he cannot participate in any Kufr Qaddum peaceful demonstrations, or he will face a sentence of no less than 12 months in prison.
  • A 3 year probation period after his prison term, where he cannot participate in any peaceful demonstrations against the Israeli military anywhere else, otherwise he will face a sentence of no less than 6 months in prison.

Murad has been detained in Majedo Military Prison since his arrest in April, and has been suffered from many health problems during this time. His lawyer, Adel Samara, states that Murad has lost over 9 kilos in weight due to harsh and unsuitable holding cells.

In a letter from Murad, he stated the following:

“The accusations that I am charged with is unfair because it is our legal right to protest and participate in demonstrations against the occupation and to struggle for our self-determination as Palestinians.” He added that the peaceful marches in Kufr Qaddum will continue even if the occupation suppresses them over and over again.

Since the arrest of Murad, the Israeli army has raised its level of brutality in dealing with Kufr Qaddum demonstrations. 15 protestors have been shot by live bullets, last week alone recorded two live bullet injuries, a local youth and an Italian supporter, shot in cold blood just for participating in peaceful protests.

Murad calls on the international community and the United Nations to support Kufr Qaddum, to open the road closed by Israeli forces, to support the fair quest of a free Palestine, and to end the occupation and its settlers.

“They fine us so they can pay for more guns and weapons to kill us with,” Murad added.  Finally, Murad calls on the people of Kufr Qaddum to keep on struggling against occupation and to never give up.

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VIDEO: Non-violent protest met with tear gas and stun grenades Sat, 29 Nov 2014 20:56:56 +0000 29th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron) families gathered to stage a peaceful demonstration protesting the continuing closure of the Shuhada checkpoint. The rally consisted of approximately 50 Palestinians, of all ages. The protesters met outside of the closed checkpoint at 1 pm, armed with nothing but Palestinian flags.

The protest moved towards the checkpoint, as soon as it reached the checkpoint´s outer barrier the soldiers from the other side threw a tear gas grenade and two stun grenades at the dense group of protesters.


The protesters dispersed immediately, elderly men had to be assisted by other protesters due to tear gas inhalation. Several young Palestinian boys then threw stones at the checkpoint, but were stopped by other protesters.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Video by Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine.

The dispersed demonstrators stayed in the area near the checkpoint after the first aggression by the Israeli occupation forces, but several more tear gas grenades and stun grenades forced the protesters to leave the area completely. Young Palestinian boys then began to throw stones again and clashes broke out. The soldiers responded to the stones with excessive amounts of tear gas and stun grenades. Much of the tear gas was either deployed or drifted into the busy business streets in the Bab a-Zawiya area, effecting hundreds of Palestinians.

An ISM activist present stated afterwards, “They [the Israeli occupation forces] rarely use tear gas at clashes on Fridays where the street is empty. Today they used a lot of gas, even though the streets were full with people minding their own business.”

The clashes continued until 4 pm this afternoon. Many shopkeepers decided to close their shops to protect their goods from the tear gas.

Shuhada checkpoint has been closed for the past 8 days as part of a policy of collective punishment directed at the Palestinians in surrounding neighbourhoods after the checkpoint was burnt during clashes last Friday. The checkpoint connects Bab a-Zawiya, a neighbourhood in H1 (supposedly under full Palestinian authority control) to Tel Rumeida, an H2 residential area under full Israeli military civil and security control. For the past days, Israeli soldiers have been denying passage through the checkpoint to Palestinians including children, elderly people and teachers from nearby schools who needed special permission to pass.

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