| Bethlehem protests the US embassy relocation
May 16th 2018, 18:13, by ISM Media
On the 14th May 2017, the day the new US embassy to Israel was due to open in Jerusalem, protests were held across Palestine.
In Bethlehem, hundreds of children, women and men marched from Nisan Square to the gate in the apartheid wall separating them from Jerusalem. This unarmed protest was immediately met by brutal force. Border police fired at protesters with a vehicle mounted tear-gas cannon. People ran into alleyways suffering from the effects of the gas.
Protesters soon regrouped, setting up a burning barricade to protect themselves from Israeli forces. Border police shot into the crowd with tear gas and foam baton ammunition. Both these types of ammunition are potentially lethal.
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All of this deadly crowd control equipment is of the type supplied to Israeli forces by US company Combined Systems. The company have been the target of solidarity protests in the US.
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International Solidarity Movement volunteers were present, and saw several people being treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Women were at the forefront of the demonstration, with affinity groups of women strengthening the barricade and protesting in the street. Some activists brought a large wooden door to protect themselves from tear gas and baton rounds.
East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Israeli forces in 1967. Since then, the Israeli state and Zionist settler movements have claimed all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and have embarked on campaigns and policies to marginalize and uproot Palestinian communities. Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, are currently resisting evictions, settler harassment and racism. Donald Trump’s relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem supports these apartheid policies. The protest in Bethlehem was just one of many protests by Palestinian communites across the West Bank, Gaza, and the territories occupied by Israel in 1948, intended to show Palestinian opposition to the embassy relocation.
| Many injured in Beit El protest on 15th May in commemoration of the Nakba
May 16th 2018, 11:36, by ISM Media
Palestinians marched from Arafat square in Ramallah at 11am this morning 15th May to the DCO checkpoint near the illegal settlement of Beit El to confront Israeli forces. At around 12PM there were over 1000 protestors. Israeli forces fired excessive amounts of rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas, sponge tipped batons and reportedly also used live ammunition. Palestinian medics rushed with stretchers to the injured as so many were injured. At one point a Palestinian was shot with a rubber coated steel bullet in the leg, a medic ran to treat him but was also targeted by Israeli forces with a rubber coated steel bullet. Israeli forces deployed a drone several times to drop tear gas on the demonstrators. The sounds of ambulances and scenes of them rushing up and down the road never stopped throughout today’s demonstration in solidarity with Gaza and in remembrance of Al Nakba.
#Nakba70 #FreePalestine #GreatReturnMarch
| Israeli soldiers injure 4 unarmed Palestinians in Al-Khalil protest Monday 14th May
May 16th 2018, 07:02, by ISM Media
On Monday 14th May at 11am, protesters in occupied Al-Khalil gathered at the Hussein Mosque stadium with placards, and marched down to the city centre, gathering there and taking pictures at around 11.30. Around 80 protesters were present, including children and observers. Some protesters continued on towards Checkpoint 56, which prevents Palestinians from entering Shuhada Street. Israeli soldiers threw stun grenades and tear gas at protesters from a rooftop above the checkpoint. The protesters were mostly under 18, and not armed or posing any threat to the soldiers. At this point, 5 heavily armed soldiers came out of the checkpoint into Bab-Azawieh, in H1, began pointing out protesters, and firing rubber-coated steel bullets towards them as well as tear gas and stun grenades. Other soldiers remained on the rooftop, using live ammunition on protesters.
International Solidarity Movement activists went to investigate if there had been any injuries amongst the protesters, and witnessed an elderly man being carried down the street away from the checkpoint and rushed into an ambulance, suffering with tear gas inhalation. In the next few hours, International Solidarity Movement activists confirmed with witnesses that three boys were shot and injured– one from live fire, and two from rubber-coated steel bullets. The victims were taken to hospital. Copious amounts of tear gas continued to be used throughout the day from soldiers occupying a rooftop above Checkpoint 56, injuring a 14 year old boy, from inhalation, who was filming for a human rights organisation and wearing a vest marked ‘Press’. Activists also witnessed the soldiers on the rooftop dancing, singing, and jeering at protesters after throwing tear gas and stun grenades, and after hospitalising 4 Palestinians. One protester, aged around 12 or 13, waved a ‘Great Return March’ flag in view of soldiers, who responded by throwing tear gas and stun grenades.
As soldiers remained on the rooftop, International Solidarity Movement activists passed through Checkpoint 56 after receiving reports of settlers having a party. Settlers, including many children, escorted by heavily armed soldiers, police and border police, were having a party with music and balloons. The party stopped near the Beit Hadassah settlement on Shuhada street. ISM activists witnessed a settler with a rifle slung over his shoulder handing out balloons to children. Israeli police checked the activists’ passports, and they were asked to leave.
Palestinians were protesting for many reasons on this day: including the commemoration of the nakba, or catastrophe, in which much of 1948 Palestine was ethnically cleansed, and the opening of the US embassy in the occupied and contested city of Jerusalem. In protests in Gaza on the same day Israeli forces shot dead 55 unarmed Palestinian protesters.
| “We witnessed at least 40 Palestinians dropping to the ground from tear gas inhalation”
May 15th 2018, 09:20, by ISM Media
On Monday the 14th of May at 11am, thousands of Palestinians gathered in Arafat Square in Ramallah and proceeded to march to Qalandiya checkpoint to confront Israeli forces. The US embassy was officially moved to Jerusalem on this same day. Palestinians held signs and placards to assert their right of return and in remembrance of Al Nakba. Palestinian children released black balloons with Palestinian flags attached into the skies when they reached to Qalandiya.
Hundreds of Palestinians then proceeded to protest against the Israeli occupation. Palestinian press and medics were assaulted by Israeli forces before the march even made its way to Qalandiya. Israeli forces used weapons of violence to suppress a peaceful march, attended by men, women and children. Many were injured by rubber coated steel bullets and foam batons fired by Israeli forces. The amount of tear gas used was shocking.
One International Solidarity Movement activist stated: “We witnessed at least 40 Palestinians dropping to the ground from tear gas inhalation today at Qalandiya checkpoint.”
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Live ammunition and stun grenades were also used against the demonstrators as Palestinian medics kept rushing with stretchers and returning to ambulances with those who were injured.
Over 531 Palestinian villages were ethnically cleansed during the Nakba as massacres took place. 800,000 Palestinians were forced out either internally displaced or forced out of their homeland. Palestinians will never forget and will not give up on the right of return.
#OccupiedPalestine #Nakba70 #RightOfReturn #GreatReturnMarch #FreePalestine
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