Students Protest, Soldiers Tear Gas Elementary School On Anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s Death

11 November 2010

Soldiers tear gassed a girls elementary school in Beit Ommar this morning following a student demonstration commemorating the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death. Three hundred students ages 7 to 15 marched from the Beit Ommar il-Assasiyya boys school to the checkpoint at the entrance of the village waving Palestinian flags and chanting against the occupation. Several students gave speeches in memory of Yasser Arafat.

Soldiers responded by shooting teargas and sound bombs into Zaharet il-madayim, a Palestinian girls elementary school, and into the preschool next door. 30 girls ages 3 to 13 suffered tear gas inhalation. This morning marked the third time in the past two years that soldiers have shot tear gas into the school.

Yasser Arafat, former chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian Authority, died on November 11 2004 from mysterious causes. Many senior Palestinian officials have expressed suspicions that that he was poisoned by Israeli secret policy, though such allegations have never been confirmed.