Friday, April 17, 2009

Palestinian demonstrator murdered by Israeli military with new deadly teargas canister

Dear friends,
the terrible news has just come through that the Israeli military has murdered another Palestinian villager during a non-violent demonstration against the apartheid wall. Bassem Abu Rahmah, a 30 years man old from Bil'in village was shot during a non-violent demonstration with the new deadly teargas canisters fired by the Israeli military.

In March, the Israeli Occupation Forces shot American activist, Tristan Anderson in the head with the same teargas canisters, critically injuring him. The impact of the canister resulted in Tristan sustaining a large hole in the right part of his forehead and caused severe damage to his right eye/ Tristan underwent brain surgery in which part of his right frontal lobe and shattered bone fragments were removed. He remains in a critical condition in hospital in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli occupation forces began using the new teargas canisters in December last year. The canisters are fired from a Rugger rifle at high velocity. Unlike the old canisters used by the Israeli military, the new gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail and has a propeller to accelerate the weapon mid-air. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous.

Under Israeli military operation orders, it is illegal for the Israeli military to fire teargas directly into demonstrations, at the heads or bodies of protesters. Israeli soliders, however, regularly and consistently ignore this order, using the teargas canisters as weapons firing directly into unarmed demonstrators.

Please find below the report from the International Middle East Media Centre in Occupied Bethlehem and the ISM media release. I have also included a bried eyewitness account of what happened from one of the Israeli anti-occupation activists, who was at the demonstration.

As the ISM report notes, Bassem is the 18th person killed by the Israeli occupation forces during an anti-wall demonstration.

In sadness,


Bassem flying a kite at an earlier non-violent demonstration against the wall in 2008
Photo by Oren Ziv, Active Stills

Eyewitness report of death in Bil'in

This Friday some 15 Israelis and 15 internationals joined a few dozen Palestinians in their weekly demo in Bil'in. The demonstration's theme was Palestinian prisoners' day, and the demo was headed by people carrying posters demanding the release of Palestinians held by the Israeli occupation forces. As usual, upon reaching the fence the demo was met with shock [grenades] and gas grenades. The strong wind blew in the direction of the demonstrators and spread the gas among them, so only a small group of demonstrators managed to stay close to the fence. This, however, only encouraged the soldiers to keep shooting relatively large amounts of gas and other ammunition.

The first victim was a French demonstrator superficially wounded in her face by a rebound shrapnel. Shortly after, a soldier shot an extended range gas projectile from a few meters away directly at Bassem Abu Rahme who was standing at the fence, knocked him over, left a gaping hole in the middle of his torso, and put him into respiratory distress and shock. Since no ambulance was at the scene, Bassem (a.k.a. Phil, aged 30) was evacuated in a private car toward Ramallah. Some demonstrators maintained their presence at the fence for a while, but as the last of them left the scene, the news of Bassem's death reached at the village.

Friday 17 March

One killed, dozens injured at the Bil'in weekly protest

Bassem being carried by local Palestinian youths after he was shot by the Israeli military (from

A Palestinian man was killed and dozens more injured on Friday during the weekly nonviolent protest in Bil'in village, near the central west Bank city of Ramallah.

Local sources told IMEMC that Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahmah, 30, died when soldiers shot him in the chest with a tear gas bomb.

The residents of Bil'in village marched towards the wall today after Friday prayers. The protest was joined by Israeli and international activists.

Protesters' held banners condemning Israel's ongoing policies and violence against civilians and demanding the release of the Palestinian political prisoners held by the Israeli army. The protest began in the center of the village then headed towards the Apartheid Wall which is being built on Bil'in land.

An Israeli army unit stationed behind the wall prevented the crowd from going through the gate and fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets to break up the crowd. In addition to the fatal wounding of Bassem, an international supporter was hit in the head and sustained moderate wounds from Israeli fire. Dozens were treated for gas inhalation.

Abdullah Abu Rahmah, from the local committee against the Wall and Settlements told IMEMC that the soldiers shot Bassem with a new type of gas bomb as he was imploring the soldiers to stop shooting as the protest a peaceful one and there were children present.

Abdullah Abu Rahmah added that Bassem will be buried on Saturday after the midday prayers.

New tear gas canisters used by Israeli military against unarmed anti-wall demonstrators

International Solidarity Movement

For Immediate Release:

Funeral for Bil'in demonstrator killed by Israeli forces to be held at 1pm, Saturday, 18th of April.

The funeral for Basem Abu Rahme will take place in the village of Bil'in, Ramallah district.

Baesm was killed during a nonviolent demonstration in Bil'in on the 17th of April. Basem, 29 years of age, was shot in the stomach with a high-velocity tear gas projectile. He was evacuated to Ramallah hospital in critical condition, where he died of his injury. According
to eyewitnesses, Basem was on a hill with several journalists to the side of other demonstrators. Soldiers opened fire from 40 meters, aiming directly with the tear-gas projectiles.

The tear-gas projectile, labeled “40 mm bullet, special/long range” in Hebrew has also critically injured American national, Tristan Anderson at a demonstration in Ni’lin on 13 March 2009 when he was shot in the head from 60 meters.

According Michael Sfard, the lawyer representing the village of Bil’in “The Israeli supreme court has ruled 3 times that the route of the Wall is illegal and needs to be moved. However, to date not a meter of the Wall has been rerouted. ”

Please Contact:

Mohammad Khatib (Arabic, Hebrew & English) 059- 891-4541
Abedallah Abu Rahma (Arabic & English) 059-910-7069
Michael Sfard (Hebrew & English) 054-471-3930 or 03-620-6947
For general information:

ISM Media office: 02-297-1824
Sasha Solanas (Russian & English) 054-903-2981

Basem Abu Rahme is the 18th individual to be killed by Israeli forces during a demonstration against the Wall.

Footage of demonstration and the shooting of Bassem in fluro yellow t-shirt(please note: this video contain graphic and upsetting images) Video by David Reeb

Al Jeezara report on the death and funeral of Bassem (Please note this report contains graphic and upsetting images)

List of fatalities:

February 26th, 2004:
Muhammad Fadel Hashem Rian, age 25 and Zakaria Mahmoud 'Eid Salem, age
Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

February 26th, 2004:
Abdal Rahman Abu 'Eid, age 17
Died of a heart attack after teargas projectiles were shot into his
home during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

February 26th, 2004:
Muhammad Da'ud Saleh Badwan, age 21
Shot during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu. Muhammad died
of his wounds on March 3rd 2004.

April 16th, 2004:
Hussein Mahmoud 'Awad 'Alian, age 17
Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Betunya.

April 18th, 2004:
Diaa' A-Din 'Abd al-Karim Ibrahim Abu 'Eid, age 23
Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

April 18th, 2004:
Islam Hashem Rizik Zhahran, age 14
Shot during a demonstration against the wall in Deir Abu Mash'al.
Islam died of his wounds April 28th.

February 15th, 2005:
'Alaa' Muhammad 'Abd a-Rahman Khalil, age 14
Shot dead while throwing stones at an Israeli vehicle driven by
private security guards near the wall in Betunya.

May 4th, 2005:
Jamal Jaber Ibrahim 'Asi, age 15 and U'dai Mufid Mahmoud 'Asi, age 14
Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Beit Liqya.

February 2nd, 2007:
Taha Muhammad Subhi al-Quljawi, age 16
Shot dead when he and two friends tried to cut the razor wire portion
of the wall in the Qalandiya Refugee Camp. He was wounded in the thigh
and died from loss of blood after remaining a long time in the field
without being treated.

March 28th, 2007:
Muhammad Elias Mahmoud 'Aweideh, age 15
Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Um a-Sharayet -

March 2nd, 2008:
Mahmoud Muhammad Ahmad Masalmeh, age 15
Shot when trying to cut the razor wire portion of the wall in Beit

July 29th, 2008:
Ahmed Husan Youssef Mousa, age 10
Killed while he and several friends tried to remove coils of razor
wire from land belonging to the village.

July 30th, 2008:
Youssef Ahmed Younes Amirah, age 17
Shot in the head with rubber coated bullets during a demonstration
against the wall in Ni'lin. Youssef died of his wounds August 4th

December 28th, 2008:
Arafat Khawaja, age 22
Shot in the back with live ammunition in Ni’lin during a demonstration
against Israel's assault on Gaza.

December 28th, 2008:
Mohammad Khawaja, age 20:
Shot in the head with live ammunition during a demonstration in Ni’lin
against Israel's assault on Gaza. Mohammad died in the hospital on
December 31st 2009.

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