Naksa Tear Gas 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Rami Abu Gabel, a lawyer from Majdal Shams in the Golan, announced on Thursday
that he would submit a petition to the High Court over the use of what he termed
“excessive force” by security forces against demonstrators during the Naksa Day
protests on the Syrian border.
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“You don’t use a hammer to kill flies,”
said Gabel, stressing that the protesters, both on the Syrian and Israeli sides
had been unarmed and that the IDF in his opinion used too much firepower under
Syrian Health Minister Wael al-Halki claimed 23
demonstrators were killed and 350 were wounded in the clashes commemorating the
“Naksa” or “setback” of the 1967 Six Day War on Sunday, although the numbers
could not be verified. The IDF rejected the reports of 23 deaths as
Gamel, who said he was present to witness the violence,
told The Jerusalem Post that many Majdal Shams protesters were injured from
inhaling tear gas fired at them. One boy, he said, was taken to hospital in
“The army says they fired after young residents of the
village started throwing rocks at them. I was there and I know I felt the tear
gas before anybody threw rocks,” said Gamel. He said plans were in the works
among residents to demand a comprehensive investigation into the decision to use
tear gas against the Israeli protesters.
“The petition for use of
excessive force is against the Internal Security minister.
The actions of
the people under his responsibility caused widespread trauma to all the people
who witnessed it,” Gamel said. “The person responsible must be
Gamel said he was also planning to file a class action lawsuit
against the police on behalf of the residents of Majdal Shams, for financial
losses due to the closing off of the village and the surrounding region in the
days leading up to Naksa Day.
“For a few days it was very difficult and
at times impossible to bring in goods. Many employees were unable to show up for
work and tourism suffered a severe blow,” said Gamel. He said it was still too
early to put an exact price tag on the losses, but that it would be in the
ballpark of a million shekels.
Gamel said he also anticipated a slew of
personal damages claims by residents who were injured in the
Meanwhile the Nazareth District Court remanded two Majdal Shams
residents for four more days on suspicion that they hurled rocks at security
forces on Naksa Day.