More on the killing of Palestinian peace activist Basem

April 21, 2009

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By “Jon the antizionist Jew”


30-year-old Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahmeh, a resident of the West Bank village of Bil’in, near Ramallah, marching in a non-violent demonstration in the spring of 2006. He was killed today, April 17 2009, while attending a non-violent demonstration in Bil’in, when an Israeli soldier shot him at close range with a high-velocity tear gas canister. This is the fourth year of protests at the village of Bil’in, and he is the 18th Palestinian to be killed at anti-wall demonstrations.

It has happened again. With Tristan Anderson, the shot was to the head, leaving him near death with horrific brain injuries. This time, the shot ws to the chest, killing 30-year-old Bassem Ibrahim Abu-Rahma from Bil’in. And there is video too, horrible video of his killing. One thing is clear; this was no ‘accident’.

So let’s run down the news for the day on this:

A Palestinian man was killed on Friday when Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrators in the West Bank village of Bil’in, near Ramallah. Palestinian medical officials identified the man as 30-year-old Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahmeh, who had previously been listed in serious condition following a direct shot to the chest from an Israeli fired tear-gas canister on Friday afternoon.

Nasir Samara, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, explained, “Ibrahim was not even close to the wall when he was a shot from a distance of less than 20 meters. He was carrying a Palestinian flag and shouting that this was a nonviolent demonstration. The tear gas canister hit and entered his chest, killing him.”

This is the second time soldiers have fired on unarmed demonstrations from a lethal range in the past two months. On 13 March 2009, American human rights worker Tristan Anderson was shot in the head by the same type of ammunition, putting him in a coma and nearly killing him.

Read the Ynet News article below. Compare it with the video of his killing:

Ynet – Palestinian killed in Bilin protest:

A left wing-activist who took part in the demonstration called the IDF’s conduct “murderous,” adding “we are like sitting ducks.” Roni Barkan, a member of the “Anarchists Against the Fence” group, told Ynet that the rally was peaceful and that “no stones were thrown.”

“The soldiers, who were standing less than 30 meters (about 100 feet) from us, immediately began to throw stun grenades in our direction,” he said. “A few minutes later I overheard the commander tell the soldiers to prepare to throw tear gas canisters. There were two or three shots, and then Abu-Rahma was hit. I tried to stop the bleeding.”

According to Barkan, “it seems that since Operation Cast Lead IDF soldiers and commanders have been conducting themselves in an even less moral and humane manner; they are firing at anything that moves.”

…The ISM has some more pictures. According to a friend, “he’s shouting “officer, wait a moment, wait” (presumably he saw them preparing to shoot)”

Here’s a better translation, thanks Palestinian Professor:

“He was shouting at the soldiers

“wait a second wait a second listen” (hebrew)

then he says to Israeli protestor

“show them your Israeli identity card.” (hebrew)

His accent is heavily Palestinian.

The person next to him was also shouting at the middle aged Israeli guy with a poster on his chest next to the fence (in Palestinian Arabic). He said

“dude wait hold on.”

The person with the poster on his chest is obviously Israel or even American. Because he obviously thinks that he can stand next to the fence with a God damn poster on his chest.

The Palestinians freaked out thinking the soldiers will surely harm this individual protester from Israel. Instead they shot your friend.”

Here is a sub-footage from the demo:

With more translation:

The demonstrators are telling the soldiers in Hebrew that there are children and Israelis present and they are asking them not to shoot. Bassem is shouting “listen, wait a minute, wait a minute” before he falls to the ground. The soldiers then fire another round of tear gas as the demonstrators yell that he is injured and needs an ambulance.

In the longer video, as [Mohammed] Khatib is arguing with the soldier, I can’t make out all of it because they’re talking over each other, but you can clearly hear the soldier say, “do you want more gas?” They can see someone is on the ground and bleeding and because they know it’s a Palestinian, they don’t care.

And the soldier is telling Khatib “Are you going to shut up?” as Khatib pleads with him to stop shooting. The Israeli who’s next to Bassem right after the shooting is just saying, there’s an injured man, bring an ambulance quickly. He asks Bassem where he was hit. The demonstrators also repeat throughout, this is a non-violent demonstration. The soldiers merely respond with teargas.

Again, this is no accident, it is a pattern, a cruel and murderous one; Here is some video from 2007 to provide context. In my time in Bil’in, I saw many demonstrators, Palestinian and Israeli, hit by tear gas canisters shot at them directly, and at close range:

This is all the more horrifying as I demonstrated with this man on so many occasions in Bil’in. I remember one night, I was sleeping in a small shack that the villagers had set up on the ‘Israeli’ side of the fence where the land was (and still is) vulnerable to settlement by the nearby settlers. The fellow I was there with decided to put the small broiler that was there inside the shack to help keep us warm, as it was a cold winter night. I was kind of not so thrilled with this decision, as the smoke coming from it wasn’t pleasant, but I was to tired to get up and make a fuss over it. As I was about to fall asleep, Bassem burst into the shack, and he proceeded to scold us for having the broiler there. It seems that a similar situation had ended up killing some young people in another part of the West Bank; they died in their sleep from inhaling the smoke. I had forgotten about this until this morning, but who knows, Baseem probably saved my life that night. And now he is gone.

He is the 18th Palestinian killed by the Israeli military while non-violently demonstrating against the wall and the theft of their land. May he be the last, and may his killers be brought to justice.

Here is a list of the 18. “Although such a needless death is a tragedy at any age, please note how young some of those killed have been:”

Friday, 17 April 2009: A resident has been killed by Israeli forces during a demonstration. Basem Abu Rahme, 29 years of age, was shot in the stomach with a high-velocity tear gas projectile. The tear-gas projectile, labeled “40 mm bullet, special/long range” in Hebrew has also critically injured American national, Tristan Anderson at a demonstration in Ni’lin on 13 March 2009 when he was shot in the head from 60 meters.

Basem Abu Rahme is the 18th individual to be killed by Israeli forces during a demonstration against the Wall.

February 26th, 2004:

Muhammad Fadel Hashem Rian, age 25 and Zakaria Mahmoud ‘Eid Salem, age 28

Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

February 26th, 2004:

Abdal Rahman Abu ‘Eid, age 17

Died of a heart attack after teargas projectiles were shot into his home during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

February 26th, 2004:

Muhammad Da’ud Saleh Badwan, age 21

Shot during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu. Muhammad died of his wounds on March 3rd 2004.

April 16th, 2004:

Hussein Mahmoud ‘Awad ‘Alian, age 17

Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Betunya.

April 18th, 2004:

Diaa’ A-Din ‘Abd al-Karim Ibrahim Abu ‘Eid, age 23

Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Biddu.

April 18th, 2004:

Islam Hashem Rizik Zhahran, age 14

Shot during a demonstration against the wall in Deir Abu Mash’al. Islam died of his wounds April 28th.

February 15th, 2005:

‘Alaa’ Muhammad ‘Abd a-Rahman Khalil, age 14

Shot dead while throwing stones at an Israeli vehicle driven by private security guards near the wall in Betunya.

May 4th, 2005:

Jamal Jaber Ibrahim ‘Asi, age 15 and U’dai Mufid Mahmoud ‘Asi, age 14

Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Beit Liqya.

February 2nd, 2007:

Taha Muhammad Subhi al-Quljawi, age 16

Shot dead when he and two friends tried to cut the razor wire portion of the wall in the Qalandiya Refugee Camp. He was wounded in the thigh and died from loss of blood after remaining a long time in the field without being treated.

March 28th, 2007:

Muhammad Elias Mahmoud ‘Aweideh, age 15

Shot dead during a demonstration against the wall in Um a-Sharayet – Samiramis.

March 2nd, 2008:

Mahmoud Muhammad Ahmad Masalmeh, age 15

Shot when trying to cut the razor wire portion of the wall in Beit Awwa.

July 29th, 2008:

Ahmed Husan Youssef Mousa, age 10

Killed while he and several friends tried to remove coils of razor wire from land belonging to the village.

July 30th, 2008:

Youssef Ahmed Younes Amirah, age 17

Shot in the head with rubber coated bullets during a demonstration against the wall in Ni’lin. Youssef died of his wounds August 4th 2008.

December 28th, 2009:

Arafat Khawaja, age 22

Shot in the back with live ammunition in Ni’lin during a demonstration against Israel’s assault on Gaza.

December 28th, 2009:

Mohammad Khawaja, age 20

Shot in the head with live ammunition during a demonstration in Ni’lin against Israel’s assault on Gaza. Mohammad died in the hospital on December 31st 2009.

wish I could be there for this:

For immediate release:

Bil’in residents to carry Basem’s body through Ramallah at 11am, village conference on popular resistance still continuing as planned

Bil’in villagers will carry the body of Basem Abu Rahme through the streets of Ramallah at 11am on 18th of April, 2009.  Residents will then continue to Bil’in to conduct his funeral at 1pm.

Note: Please see the rest of the announcement on the article’s original source.

Palestinians mourn demonstrator’s death

04.19.2009 | AlJazeera English

Tel Aviv protestors slam IDF ‘murder’

04.19.2009 | Israel News (Ynet)

Hundreds of demonstrators hit Tel Aviv’s streets Saturday evening to protest killing of an anti-fence activist during a recent rally in Bilin.

The protestors, who marched from Ben Zion Boulevard to the Defense Ministry headquarters, said they intend to continue to protest the construction of the West Bank security fence despite their fear of being hurt by IDF troops.

Several dozen police officers were on hand in order to prevent disruptions as result of the march. Protestors were holding signs reading “Democracy isn’t built on the bodies of demonstrators” and “Mr. Defense Minister, how many children did you murder today?”

Yonatan Pollack, an “Anarchists against the Fence” activist who took part in the march in memory of Bassem Ibrahim Abu-Rahma, said he believes “what happened cannot keep on happening.”

“Our blood is precious to us and it should be precious to all, so that our friend’s murder does not pass silently,” he said.

Pollack stressed that his group will continue to protest the security fence’s route in Bilin and Naalin, both focal points of violent clashes.

“We intend to continue protesting both here and in the territories, and to continue to object to the policy of robbing land…we plan to continue supporting Palestinian resistance,” he said. “”We are shaking in our boots, yet despite this we have no choice but to continue our activities.”

Meanwhile, Tel Aviv University student Basama Fahoum said that the death of Abu-Rahma is “outrageous because it’s simply inhumane.”

A person attends a non-violent protest and is met by such disproportional response,” she said. “It makes no sense.”

IDF officials are continuing to look into the incident, which the army characterized as a riot. During the weekend, Palestinian and Israeli medical officials met in order to engage in a joint probe, which confirmed that Abu-Rahma was hurt by an object that hit his chest, and not by a bullet.

Letter – On Israel tear gas usage in Occupied West Bank

04.21.2009 | Original

By a correspondent

I’ve been wondering why is Israel the only country where people die or get seriously maimed from tear gas canisters? Do they cowardly use the weapon in a wrong way to intentionally cause human suffering?

It seems the answer is yes. The IDF is using long range tear gas directly at persons from very small distances. It acts as live missile-like ammunition and tear gas at the same time. As witnessed by B’tselem:

In its letter, B’Tselem emphasized that tear gas is intended to be non-lethal. Firing of such canisters at a short distance, directly at a person, turns the tear-gas canister itself into kind of missile. Extended-range type tear-gas canisters, recently brought into use in the West Bank, are even more dangerous, as move at very high speed and are heavier, and thus cause much greater injury.

And latest Frank Barat report:

Bassem was shot by a new kind of Tear Gas, called “the rocket”. The soldier who shot was a mere 40 meters away. This is the same type of tear gas that critically injured US citizen Tristan Anderson a few weeks ago. Those tear gas canisters are as fast and lethal as live ammunition.