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Live ammo used as ‘crowd dispersal’

31st July 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Vern | Occupied Palestine

On July 29th, Palestinian activists from the Human Rights Defenders Group, as well as several ISM volunteers, went to the Almezan Hospital in Hebron, and met some of the Palestinians recently shot and injured by Israeli soldiers. Some of them were taking part in clashes; others were watching from rooftops or leaving their cars. They range in ages from 17 to 24-years-old. All of them were shot with live ammunition by the Israeli army.

Here are eight of their stories:

Abdi* is 18-years-old. He is from Beit Fajjar. He went to a peaceful demonstration, which turned quickly turned violent. The soldiers opened fire at the Palestinians, killing one person and wounding nine. Five minutes into the demonstration, the approximately 100 soldiers present began to use live ammunition. They did not throw stun grenades or use tear gas. There were no arrests. The tactic seemed to be to heavily wound or kill people and Abdi was shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Omar* is from Seiir village. He is 22-years-old. Omar was shot and wounded in Beit Anun, which is between Hebron and his village of Seiir. He was shot in the leg with a live bullet, which was fired from 30-40 meters away, and he then required surgery. Three others were also shot and injured that day. Neither Omar nor the people he was with were throwing rocks at the army. People were chanting before they were shot. The Israeli army came to the protest, with the sole purpose of inflicting harm.

Hamdi* is 19-years-old. Last Friday, he was taking part in clashes in Hebron. He was shot in the right leg with live ammunition. Part of his ligament had to be removed. Live ammunition was shot at him and other demonstrators, from 13 meters away. Seven people were injured in the demonstration. When he was carried into the hospital, three other wounded people were carried in with him. Afterwards, four more were brought in. He will need to remain in the hospital for two more weeks.

Nasser* is 19-years-old, and he is from Hebron. He was injured in last Friday’s demonstration, which took part by the Halhul Bridge. A live bullet, fired by a soldier standing some 30-40 meters away, went through both of his legs. It is still embedded in his left leg. The soldiers who shot him started with stun grenades and tear gas, then moved on to live ammunition. Some of the soldiers were using silencers. Nasser lost four units of blood, and will need to spend ten more days in the hospital.

Ali* is 24-years-old, and is from Saiir. He took part in a demonstration at Beit Anun, during which clashes broke out. A bullet was fired into his leg, which exploded upon entry. The Israeli military used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition. Ali was shot by a bullet that was fired from a silencer. He was shot from a distance of 30 meters.

Yusuf* is 17-years-old. Last Sunday, he took part in a demonstration against the massacre in Gaza, in Bab Al-Zawiye, the city center of Hebron. He was shot from the roof by a sniper, and the live bullet that entered his leg was fired from a distance of 80-100 meters. A silencer was used. Initially, the soldiers shot tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Some of the demonstrators threw it back at them. While some of the protesters were throwing rocks, not all of them were, and the soldiers nevertheless fired at everyone. Yusuf has spent 10 days in the hospital already, and does not know when he will be able to go home.

Bukhari* is from Tarkumia, a village near Hebron. He is 20-years-old. Bukhari was injured during clashes near the Halhul Bridge, but he was not taking part in the protests. Bukhari was taking a service (shared taxi) to go home after work, when soldiers closed the bridge. He had to look for another vehicle for transportation, and as he was leaving the service, he was shot. Bukhari was shot with a live bullet that went through his leg, from a distance of 11 meter. He lost eight units of blood. Bukhari will need another 14 days in the hospital, and will need physical rehabilitation for some time, to help him walk again.

Jalal* is 20-years-old. He was injured at Bab Al-Zawiye on Monday, July 21st. That night, clashes were taking place between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. He was shot with a bullet that went into one leg and exited through the other. He was not taking part in the clashes, but instead observing from his roof. He was shot by a sniper who was on a nearby roof. The march he was observing was the second demonstration against the massacre in Gaza, during which people marched from Hosseini Mosque to Bab Al-Zawiye. It was a very large demonstration. Jalal will need to spend at least 15 more days in the hospital.

*All names have been changed for security reasons.