17th February 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Charlie Andreasson | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
An estimated 400 – 500 people, most in their late teens, gathered at the hillside east of Jabaliya for the recurrent demonstration against the occupation. There was no organizer, leader or banners, and the demonstration was largely chaotic. Stones were thrown, mostly from quite far distances, tear gas drifted along the hillside. Youth trying to get past rolls of razor wire to attach the Palestinian flag on the fence facing Israel were met by tear gas as well as live ammunition.
Unlike previous bombardments with tear-gas cartridges, it was clear this time that the occupying power was deliberately trying to hit protesters with the cartridges, not only disperse them with gas. This procedure has previously caused deaths. Perhaps the most well-known case was in Nabi Salah on 9th December 2011 when Mustafa Tamimi was shot at close range.
Kamal Radwan hospital reported 17 casualties from the demonstration, most of them direct hits with tear-gas cartridges. Two were also shot by live ammunition in the legs. Previously injured demonstrators have explained the demonstrations as a manifestations against the impacts of the occupation: soaring unemployment, poverty and lack of confidence in the future.