Army Fired Tear Gas into Elementary School, Now Closed

16 May 2011

During the May 15th incursion into Beit Ommar, Israeli military forces fired at least four canisters of tear gas into an elementary school, smashing windows and filling the building with noxious fumes. The school was not in session at the time. When teachers and students arrived for class this morning, they found that the gas had not yet fully dissipated. Class has been canceled to allow further time for the building to air out.

The Israeli military reaction to “Nakba Day” demonstrations throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, and Lebanon on May 15th killed at least 17 and wounded hundreds. In Beit Ommar, Yousef Abu Hashem, 18, was shot in the leg. He was taken to the hospital and released that day, and is in good condition despite his wound. A boy who was hospitalized for tear gas exposure was also released.

The “Nakba” (literally, “catastrophe,”) is recognized every year on May 15th, to commemorate the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.