International Solidarity Movement
28 April 2010Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, 19, died of blood loss at 4:30 pm today, following emergency surgery.
Dib was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper at a non-violent demonstration, with more than 200 participants, which marched towards the Israeli imposed buffer zone near Nahal Oz crossing with Israel east of Gaza City. Dib was urgently transferred by an ambulance to Shifaa Hospital in the Gaza City, bleeding heavily. The injury proved fatal because the bullet severed the femoral artery, shattered the femur bone, and damaged the surrounding muscle and other tissues.
Regular popular demonstrations are being are held in protest of the arbitrary decision by Israel to instate a 300 metre buffer zone as no-go area for Palestinians where a “shoot to kill” policy is implemented. People have been shot regularly as far as 2 kilometres away from the border.c
British ISM activist and eyewitness Adie Mormech stated: “We were standing next to a gathering of young men behind a large rock, most of whom were chanting and waving flags, about 50 metres from the border fence. Although some of the men were throwing stones from the ground, we didn’t see any reach the fence, let alone go over it. Suddenly to our left, in front of the rock where 10 people had gathered about 30 metres from the fence, there was a single shot without any warning, and a young man was carried away. I could see the bullet had blown apart a large section of the top his leg, with a large amount of blood. He was carried about 100m with blood pouring down his leg before a waiting ambulance drove him away.”
For footage of the shooting, provided by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, see: http://blip.tv/file/3548946
According to Eva Bartlett, Canadian ISM activist and eye witness: “Israel’s policy of using live ammunition for crowd dispersal is part of its complete disregard for the lives of a million and a half Palestinians living in brutal conditions under the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza. International observers play a critical role in documenting and potentially deterring Israel’s violence, but are denied access to Gaza.”
British ISM activist Rada Daniell added that “The popular resistance demonstrations will continue up and down the border until Palestinians have access to their most arable farmland, which is effectively annexed by the Israeli imposed 300m buffer zone on the Gazan side, and until the siege is lifted from the Gaza Strip. Bianca, a Maltese international activist who was shot at noon on Saturday in the leg, will rejoin the other internationals regularly attending and reporting on the local initiatives against the buffer zone.”
Dib’s death comes after live ammunition was used at three non-violent Gaza Buffer Zone demonstrations in five days. More than twenty rounds were fired at yesterday’s demonstration in Al Faraheen, east of Khan Younis. On Friday, Palestinians Hind Al Akra (22) and Nidal Al Naji (18), and ISM activist Bianca Zammitt were shot with live ammunition in Maghazi.