Two protests, One day

Ofer Prison, Ramallah

A protest in support of the Palestinian prisoners in Ofer who have been on hunger strike for the past 15 days refusing food to pressure authorities into providing better conditions.

The hunger strike has rolled through most of Israel’s 23 lockups, where some 5,300 Palestinians are detained, often without trial.

For 3-4 hours, soldiers continually fired tear gas, 5 or 10 at a time at unarmed protesters, shot steel-coated rubber bullets, and turned on “the scream” siren (a siren that can be directed at protesters without soldiers hearing it, which is so loud it can damage the ears and cause one to lose equilibrium).

In the above picture you can see the high-velocity tear gas canister still in the air. It has been known to kill if it hits the head or chest, and give serious burns anywhere else.

Several collapsed throughout the protest from tear gas inhalation.

I watched this boy walk down the sidewalk, turn around, and fall so gracefully to the ground that no one noticed for a moment. In the next moment everyone was running to him.

One boy was hit in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Al Khalil/Hebron- School Children protest tightened security for their teachers

The teachers of the school in Tel Rumeida have had, for the past 7 years, permission to pass through a gate instead of the metal detectors at the checkpoint entrance. Now, the commander of the new batallion, has changed the rules to force teachers, pregnant women, and those with heart conditions to pass through the metal detectors. The teachers refused and protested by soliciting outside the checkpoint but refusing to go through.

Then, the over 100 children came out of the school chanting, and confronted the soldiers, demanding their teachers’ rights. Police became aggressive with children and dragged some of them out through the checkpoint, injuring seven.

I constantly spoke to soldiers asking them why they were harassing the Palestinians, when they know it is the Israeli settlers in the neighbourhood that are very often violent. One admitted that he did not agree with the extra security but that he had to “protect the Jewish people.”

During the protest a settler woman kept driving through so she could bump protesters with her car, mostly children. People say that this settler is infamous for hitting Palestinians with her car as they walk in Tel Rumeida, where Palestinians are not allowed to drive.

They ended up doing their classes in the street, and will continue to until the laws are reverted.

This is a link to the report I wrote: Seven School Children Injured over Tightened “Security” Measures in Tel Rumeida

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1 Comment

  1. Gary

     /  October 13, 2011

    I saw the second story on the news today. Good work it needs more coverage!


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