Another massive demonstration occurred in the Abu Sneineh neighborhood of Hebron on Friday. This marked the third consecutive weekly demonstration protesting the Israeli occupation and the atrocities in Gaza. The crowd numbered around 2500 people, somewhat smaller than the two previous weeks when the Israeli attack on Gaza was in progress.
The demonstration began after the Friday prayers at the Wasaya mosque in the Abu Sneineh neighborhood. Israeli police and soldiers had erected roadblocks around the area prior to the demonstration in an attempt to limit access to the protestors.
Seven Palestinians were arrested including two directly charged with stone throwing. Israeli soldiers entered several Palestinian residences and took up positions on rooftops to shoot at the demonstrators.
There were 20 injuries reported requiring medical intervention including 15 people suffering from tear gas inhalation, 4 people shot with rubber coated steel bullets, and one man seriously injured by a dum dum (exploding) live bullet. This man was shot in the upper leg, fragmenting the bone in several places and destroying all of the muscle tissue in the area of the wound. He was transferred from the local hospital to Al-Mizaan Hospital in Hebron.
Despite the lower numbers of protestors this week, the demonstration was successful in forcing a retreat of the Israeli forces in several instances, including the stopping of an advance of Israeli jeeps with a massive barrage of stones thrown from the street and from the surrounding rooftops.
Israeli forces fired large amounts of tear gas and rubber coated bullets and some live ammunition. Some of the tear gas canisters were of the type that have been used in recent weeks at Ni’lin village and other locations. These canisters are much heavier and of a much higher velocity than the normal canisters, posing a risk of serious injury or death to anyone hit directly by a canister.
On the previous Friday, a 17 year old man was killed by Israeli soldiers during the demonstration in the Abu Sneineh area of Hebron.