Home / Features / High-velocity tear gas canisters and skunk water used in assault on Nabi Saleh demonstration; 18-year-old to undergo surgery

High-velocity tear gas canisters and skunk water used in assault on Nabi Saleh demonstration; 18-year-old to undergo surgery

20 November 2010 | International Solidarity Movement

Palestinian demonstrators march in Nabi Saleh

Yesterday, 19th November, the weekly demonstration in An Nabi Saleh was again met by violent opposition from the Israeli Army. One young villager is scheduled to undergo surgery to insert a platinum implant in his leg where the bone was crushed from the impact of a high-velocity tear gas projectile.

The demonstration was blocked in its effort to reach the village spring located near the illegal settlement Halamish by massive tear gas attacks. Throughout the day the Israeli army and border police shot tear gas and rubber bullets toward demonstrators, sometimes directly at people.

11 demonstrators were injured during the demonstration, mostly by rubber bullets and tear gas, and 4 of the injured required hospitalization. One villager was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet in the leg. An international received a cut on his face from another bullet that bounced off a wall. Several people suffered from the effects of tear gas.

Active Stills: high velocity tear gas canister shot at demonstration

Illegal, high-velocity tear gas canisters were used. Unlike usual tear-gas canisters, they were made to be capable of breaking through walls, can fly long distances without a sound, do not emit a smoke tail, and have a propeller to accelerate the weapon mid-air. Thus they are very difficult to detect and substantially more dangerous than regular tear gas. In the past, demonstrators have been severely injured by high velocity tear gas canisters hitting them. In April 2009, Bassem Abu-Rahma, had been killed by a high velocity tear gas canister fired directly at him during the weekly demonstrations in the village of Bil’in. In March 2009, the American activist Tristan Anderson was shot in the head with a high-velocity tear gas canister, for which he suffered severe brain damage and disability.

Active Stills: A Palestinian man collects a sample of skunk water

In the early afternoon, a military jeep entered the village and sprayed skunk water at houses and demonstrators. Skunk water is considered a cultural weapon and has thus been condemned by the international community. It is made up of several different, unidentified, bad-smelling chemicals that cast a wretched smell which lasts for weeks and is nearly impossible to remove.

Late in the day, a tear gas canister smashed the window of a house, filling it with gas. Beside it, a car was damaged by rubber bullets.

A Palestinian woman is seen after she was injured from tear gas shot directly into her house during the demonstration

As in previous weeks, early in the day all roads leading in to the village were blocked in an attempt by the Israeli Army to prevent International and Israeli activists from participating in the protest. In solidarity, activists within the village waited to begin their demonstration while activists were forced to walk for an hour from a neighboring village.

The demonstration lasted until sunset, when the military finally retreated from the village.