Injuries, Sound bombs, and Teargas at Demonstration in Beit Ommar, October 29.2011.
The Popular Commiittee of Beit Ommar, PSP along with a big crowd of Israeli and international activists held the usual weekly peaceful demonstration against the Israeli occupation, land confiscation, solidarity with prisoners, and a call asking Tony Blair to go back home. The site for the demonstration was outside the fence of Karmei Tsur settlement to the south of Beit Ommar.
The demonstrators were able to go all the way up to the fence before the Israeli army arrived. On the other side of the fence, there was a heavily armed settler. After a few minutes many soldiers arrived and as the activists were chanting their slogans, the soldiers started to shoot sound bombs. Shortly afterwards more settlers arrived and started to scream back at the demonstrators.
At this point a representative from the Popular Committee of Beit Ommar started to give a speech along the lines of: “This is our land” and “You have no right to take our land”. In response to this speech the settlers became more and more aggressive. The demonstrators showed their posters, waved their flags and yelled their slogans.
The soldiers started to shoot teargas to disperse the demonstrators. At this point the settlers became rather violent. One of them started to jump onto the fence in a very threatening way. Some of the settlers were spitting at the demonstrators. Immediately after they started to throw big stones at the crowd. A Palestinian photo journalist was hit by a stone, and his head was badly injured. He was bleeding a lot. An activist bandaged his head, using someone’s scarf. Shortly afterwards he was treated by health service personnel from a Red Crescent ambulance.
Many other demonstrators were suffering from the teargas. One Palestinian activist was lying on the ground badly affected by teargas and was carried away by other activists. A French activist fell to the ground and was helped by other activists. The demonstrators withdrew back into the fields and assisted those who needed it.
Inhaling teargas can be very dangerous. Two people from Beit Ommar died as a result of in healing tear gas, the first was a 60 years old woman in 1988 and the second was a 14 months old infant in 2009.
Watch a full movie of the event: