A Palestinian activist died on Friday after Israeli forces shot her with tear gas during a peaceful protest against the West Bank separation wall in the village of Bil’in. Jawaher Abu Rahma died from respiratory failure. The tear gas used by the Israeli forces was reportedly manufactured by Combined Systems, a U.S. company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Israeli police arrested 11 pro-Palestinian activists for taking part in a protest outside the home of U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham, north of Tel Aviv. During the protest, an empty tear gas canister was thrown toward the ambassador’s residence. The Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak took part in Friday’s protest in Bil’in.
Jonathan Pollak: “This death was caused by their brutality, by the fact that they are using tear gas that was banned in Europe in the ’60s and ’70s because it is lethal. But here, on Palestinians, they continue using it.”
Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi also condemned the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahma.
Mustafa Barghouthi: “The death of Jawaher Abu Rahma, who was only 37 years old, was the result of the Israeli military use of concentrated tear gas in very huge amounts and quantities against peaceful demonstrators. This is one form of the violence that the Israeli army is using against Palestinian civilian demonstrators who are peacefully demonstrating against the wall, against apartheid and against occupation. And it’s a reflection of the feeling of Israel of impunity, above international law.”
Jawaher Abu Rahma was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahma, who was killed in April 2009 when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas grenade at his chest at another demonstration in Bil’in. On Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man as he approached a checkpoint in the northern West Bank holding a glass water bottle.