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Israeli demonstrator badly injured in Bil’in demonstration

Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee

23rd April 2010


Emad Rezqa after being shot with aluminum tear gas canister

An Israeli protester suffered a broken skull after soldiers shot him directly with a tear gas projectile that hit his forehead. Five demonstrators were arrested. Another protester was hit in the head with a tear gas projectile in Nabi Saleh.

Emad Rezqa was hit in the forehead by an aluminum tear gas projectile shot directly at him by Israeli soldiers during the weekly anti-Wall demonstration in Bil’in earlier today. He suffered a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage. Rezqa is currently hospitalized at the Hadassa Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem.

The demonstration Rezqa was injured in concluded the three-day International Bil’in Conference on Popular Struggle, and was attended by hundreds of people. Five demonstrators were arrested during the protest.

The march, which commenced at the village’s mosque after the midday prayer, was attacked with tear gas some 30 seconds after reaching the gate in the Wall, despite the fact that it was entirely peaceful. The gas forced most of the participants to retreat back towards the village, but a smaller group managed to stay by the gate, chanting and shouting slogans.

A few minutes after, a group of soldiers began firing a second round of tear gas projectiles, this time directly at the demonstrators from a distance of about 30 meters. Rezqa was hit and quickly evacuated to the Ramallah hospital with blood gushing from his forehead. He was transferred to the Hadassa Ein Karem hospital after being x-rayed and diagnosed as suffering a broken skull.

Following Rezqa’s injury, soldiers invaded Bil’in through the gate in the Wall and arrested four protesters who were staging a sit-in some hundred meters away from the Wall, as well as a journalist who was next to them.

Another demonstrator was similarly injured today during a demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh. The protester was hit in the head with a tear gas projectile shot directly at him after the Army invaded the village even before the demonstration began.

In Ni’ilin, roughly 300 people demonstrated in solidarity with the villages political prisoners. The demonstration was attended by two PLC members from the Change and Reform party – Mahmoud Ramahi and Fadhel Saleh, who joined the protest today following Ramahi’s statement in support of the popular struggle last Wednesday during the Bil’in conference.

Ramahi and Slaeh’s participation is yet another sign of the recent expansion of the popular struggle and the momentum the movement is gaining in the Palestinian street.