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Mar-20-2010 18:12printcomments

International Solidarity Movement Volunteer Shot by Israeli Military

Israel continues to violently attack peace protesters.

X-ray image of the large rubber bullet lodged into Ellen Stark's arm when she was shot by an Israeli military barrage of tear gas and rubber bullets. The soldiers shot at her as she stood, un-armed, not engaged in the demonstration, from just three meters away. 19 March 2010, An Nabi Saleh

(AN NABI SALEH, Occupied Palestine) - Editors Note: At a non-violent demonstration on Friday at An Nabi Saleh, 25 demonstrators were injured by Israeli Defence Forces [IDF]. [ISM] International Solidarity Movement’s co-founder Huwaida Arraf has been released after being arrested and kept in detention for a day. ISM volunteer Ellen Stark was shot at point blank range (4 meters) with a rubber bullet as she stood with medics, Popular Committee members and other internationals. ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf was arrested while negotiating with the IOF to allow Ellen through the military line to get to the hospital.

Friday’s demonstration in An Nabi Saleh saw an increase in violence and collective punishment from the Israeli military, as twenty-five demonstrators were injured, windows of cars and homes were intentionally shattered, and three were arrested. ISM volunteer Ellen Stark was shot at point blank range (4 meters) with a rubber bullet as she stood with medics, Popular Committee members and other internationals. ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf was arrested while negotiating with the IOF to allow Ellen through the military line to get to the hospital. According to Ellen, “we were standing on Palestinian land, in support of the village who’s land has been confiscated but we weren’t even demonstrating yet.

We were standing with medics who were also shot with tear gas.”Ellen’s had to undergo surgery to remove the bullet, which was lodged between her ulna and radius of her right arm. Her wrist is broken as a result of the bullet impact. As of 12:00 pm Saturday, Palestine time, Huwaida has yet to be located in the Israeli prison system.

Over an hour before the demonstration began, soldiers took position on a hilltop near the house of an An Nabi Saleh Popular Committee member signaling to activists that the peaceful march would likely be cut short yet again by soldiers using crowd dispersal tactics such as tear gas and sound grenades. The demonstration was able to take it’s usual course, as IOF soldiers blocked the path of the activists, and began to surround them from multiple sides. Only ten minutes into the demonstration, the army began firing tear gas and rubber bullets at a small group of international, Israeli, and Palestinian activists only four meters away, injuring International Solidarity Movement volunteer, Ellen Stark. Omar Saleh Tamimi, Amjad Abed Alkhafeez Tamimi and International Solidarity Movement co-founder Huwaida Arraf were arrested as they asked Israeli military personnel to stop firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at Stark as she was helped to safety.

Israeli forces then entered the center of the village where they continued firing tear gas, sound grenades, and rubber bullets for several hours. Over twenty five were injured, including an 84-year old woman who suffered from tear gas inhalation after tear gas canisters were fired into her house, and three others who were shot with rubber bullets, including an Israeli activist; four remain hospitalized.

Later in the demonstration, soldiers began shooting rubber bullets through the windows of residents’ houses, shops, and cars, shattering their homes and livelihoods, as they used collective punishment to attempt to suppress these weekly demonstrations.

These incidents comes as the Israeli government intensifies repression of the unarmed, popular resistance to the occupation of the West Bank, illegal land confiscation by settlements such as Halamish, and construction of the illegal apartheid wall. Two weeks ago in An Nabi Saleh, 14-year-old Ehab Fadel Beir Ghouthi’s skull was fractured as a rubber bullet shot by the Israeli military, leaving him in a coma for several days. He remains in a hospital in Ramallah where he is recovering; his condition is stable and improving.

Today and every Friday since January, around 100 un-armed demonstrators leave the village center in an attempt to reach a spring which boarders land confiscated by Jewish settlers. The District Coordination Office has confirmed the spring is on Palestinian land but nearly a kilometer before reaching the spring, the demonstration is routinely met with dozens of soldiers armed with M16 assault rifles, tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades.

The Halamish Settlement has confiscated nearly half of An Nabi Saleh’s orchard and farmland since it was founded in 1977. According to village residents the settlement confiscates more land each year without consent or compensation of the landowners.



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Oregon Reader March 21, 2010 10:54 am (Pacific time)

Jeff Kaye -  I could not have said it better!  I just hope that the Arabic people will appreciate an alternative stance in the region and not continue to fight against those of us in the West who are not Muslim.

gp March 21, 2010 5:32 am (Pacific time)

it is getting harder and harder to send love to the people of Israel who do not go there and put their own bodies in front of the besieged people of Palestine. I would do that for a stray cat even. What is the matter with these insane people? Are they all drunk with power? Don't buy a thing from the boycott list.Is hitting them in their pocket book the only way to get through to them? Send your congressperson a letter today, AIPAC is lobbying in Washington next week. Tell Obama and the governing elite that we don't support genocide.

Vic March 21, 2010 1:55 pm (Pacific time)

I was going to comment on this, but I dont think I could say it any better than Jeff K. I agree 100%. But I would go as far as to say that the Palestine /Gaza situation may even be an experiment in keeping the peasants/working class here in the US beaten down and under control if they get uppity. There is a war going on, but it aint what it is presented is a class war..the very very very rich VS the rest of us. They present themselves as our leaders, benefactors and defenders while they plot how to steal from us, our children, grandchildren and how to thin the herd if we cretins breed at a rate that exceeds their need for us.

Jeff Kaye~ March 21, 2010 8:52 am (Pacific time)

What a horrible tragedy this is; and the Mainstream Media (MSM) continues to ignore it. Probably due to their ownership being largely pro-Israel. Thank you, Salem-News, for continuing coverage of the plight of Palestinians and other hapless peoples who had the misfortune to be born on this hotly contested "holy land". We need to push our government to pressure Israel's bigoted Zionist hateful leadership to grant Gaza and what little remains of Palestine and its people the freedoms enjoyed by Israelis. They committed a huge blunder by insulting our VP and President and all of us during Biden's recent visit. We gave them enough rope, now they're hanging themselves with it. Time to kick the chair out from under this brutal regime. We'll not be taken seriously or respected by the rest of the world until we stop supporting these fascist thugs with our tax dollars. The time is now to vehemently protest the atrocious mistreatment of Gazans and other Palestinians trapped in this hell; to begin restoration of their birthright, and reparations for decades of land-theft and war crimes. People of Palestine: There is hope! You are not forgotten... Some of us actually care, and especially the courageous, selfless writers and staff here at Salem-News.

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