A report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that during the last week of 2010, Israeli forces injured 38 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, more than half of whom were participating in weekly demonstrations against the Separation Wall, settlements and land confiscations.
The report further notes that during 2010, Israeli forces injured 1,145 Palestinians in the West Bank, a 45% increase over 2009.
In confrontations that broke out on 27 December between Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan and Israeli forces, eight Palestinians were injured. The report also notes a number of injuries due to tear gas inhalation and the detention of five Palestinians, including a 13 year old child. The confrontations broke out as a result the large number of Israeli forces stationed in Silwan prior to a visit by Israeli Knesset members, who came to express solidarity with the settlement building Beit Yonathan, established in the middle of Silwan and part of which is supposed to be sealed by order of the court.
The report also details that 20 Palestinians and one international activist were injured in the weekly demonstrations in the West Bank against the Wall, settlement expansion, the total closure imposed on the main commercial road in Hebron and the uprooting of olive trees.
Five Palestinians and two international activists were injured in two additional demonstrations against restrictions on freedom of movement into East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
As a result of Israel’s violent policy of demonstration dispersal, on the first day of 2011 36 year old Bil’in resident Jawaher Abu Rahmah died from inhalation of tear gas.
According to demonstrators who were there, Israeli soldiers shot tremendous amounts of tear gas which was particularly strong. After breathing it Abu Rahmah choked, and was brought to a Ramallah hospital where it was diagnosed that she was suffering from gas poisoning. The doctors told her family members that she was not responding to treatment. Overnight her condition worsened and at 9.00 a.m. the next morning she was pronounced dead.
This is not the first time that a person is killed due to tear gas in 2010. On 24 September Mohammed Abu Sneneh, a 14 month old baby, died in the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya after he inhaled tear gas. The baby had been inside his house, into which tear gas shot by the Israeli police penetrated.
Activists in various Palestinian popular committees complain that in numerous cases, Israeli forces fire expired tear gas and that breathing this causes more damage.
Jawaher is the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was killed when Israeli soldiers shot an extended range tear gas canister directly at him during a demonstration in Bil’in on 17 April 2009.
Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).