To view a video of the initial violence of the Israeli military and shooting of Lymor click here. Higher quality for broadcast is also available from the ISM media office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, August 11, the Israeli army and Border Police brutally prevented Bil’in’s weekly non-violent demonstration, by firing rubber bullets and sound grenades on protestors as they marched through the village on their way to the Apartheid wall. Fourteen people from Bil’in, Israelis and internationals, have been injured, including an Israeli, Lymar, in critical condition who was shot on neck and just above his right ear with 3 rubber bullets at close range. He has had surgery at Tel Hashomer hospital to remove a rubber bullet that was lodged in his skull. Currently he is in a medical induced coma in moderate but stable condition, but has sustained brain damaged of unknown severity.
Another demonstrator from Denmark, Rina, has suffered a fracture in her skull and brain contusion after a soldier beat her with the butt of his gun. She is currently hospitalized in Hebron, West Bank and is conscious but unable to walk. She was also beaten on her legs and sustained minor injuries.
The demonstrators marched through the village carrying 5 fake bodies symbolizing an entire family killed by the Israeli army in order to protest their “New Style of Killing” in which the whole family is targetted. The border police and army were stationed along the route of the march that leads to the Apartheid Wall, where the demonstrations usually take place. The military began firing when the protestors were less than 50 meters away, immediately causing many injuries.
The violence began so early that the ambulance (usually present at the demonstrations in case of injuries) had not yet arrived. At first the Israeli army would not let the protestors evacuate the Israeli who was shot in the head, and was suffering from blood loss. Eventually the soldiers took him in an army ambulance to Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv.
The soldiers then chased after the protestors and beat them as they were retreating, causing more injuries. Soldiers detained Jonathon Pollack, a prominent Israeli supporter and later released him. The army claimed that it was an “illegal demonstration” despite the fact that the Israeli Court ruled that Bil’in has a right to hold demonstrations.
This is a list of those injured at the Bil’in demonstration today, Friday 11th Aug.
An Israeli, shot with 3 rubber bullets at close range, with injuries to head and neck. He is currently undergoing surgery.
Two villagers, El Haj Wa’el Fahene and Nimer Mustafa Abu Rahma were both shot with rubber bullets to their backs and legs.
Gavin from UK, beaten
Martin from Sweden, beaten
Rina from Denmark, hit with a rifle butt on side of head
Jonathon from Israel, shot with rubber bullet
Uri a 20 year old from Israel, struck by rubber bullet
Rojo Didier from France (43 years old), shot with rubber bullet in back and leg
Jonas from USA, struck with rubber bullets on hip and leg
Cheryl aged 45 from USA, struck with rubber bullet to the back
Margaret from UK, struck by exploding sound grenade
Yoshki, a 22 year old journalist from Japan, shot by rubber bullet
Abudullah Abu Rahma, beaten
It is likely that an official complaint will be made to the Israeli authorities about the violent behaviour of the soldiers.
For more information:
Abudullah Abu Rahma: 054 725 8210
Mohammed Khatib 054 557 3285
ISM Media Office 02 297 1824