Palestinians say woman killed by tear gas in Bil'in protest

Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, allegedly inhaled large amounts of gas used by IDF to disperse protesters; Peace Now call on Barak to open inquiry.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 1, 2011 12:03
1 minute read.
bilin protest 248 88 ap

bilin protest 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

A woman injured by tear gas on Friday at the weekly demonstration against the security barrier in Bil'in died on Saturday at a Ramallah hospital, Palestinian sources reported.

Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, allegedly inhaled large amounts of tear gas dispensed by IDF soldiers to disperse the protesters.

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The IDF admitted to using tear gas to disperse demonstrators, but called into question the Palestinian claims that Rahma died as a result of gas inhalation. An initial examination showed she sustained only light wounds, was released from the hospital and only later died, the IDF said.

Abu Rahma's brother Bassam was killed in April 2009 when he was hit with a gas cannister in a Bil'in protest.

Peace Now called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to set up an external inquiry committee to investigate IDF conduct during the incident.

The organizers of Friday's protest in Bil'in said that some 1,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstration against the security barrier, including Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad.

Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil'in Popular Committee on Saturday said "We are shocked and furious for Israel's brutality, which once again cost the life of a peaceful demonstrator. Israel's lethal and inhumane response to our struggle will not pass. In the dawn of a new decade, it is time for the world to ask Israel for accountability and to bring about an end to the occupation."

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned as a "war crime" the killing of Abu Rahma.

"We condemn this shocking crime committed by the Israeli army against participants in a peaceful protest," said Erekat

Palestinian Legislative Council official Mustafa Barghouti called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop using tear gas as a means to disperse demonstrations.

Barghouti also called on Palestinians "to document these incidents and these crimes so we can prosecute Israel in international court."


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