Demonstrators ‘return’ tear gas canisters to US ambassador’s home

Israel/Palestine
on 6 Comments

Israeli activists protesting the killing of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah ‘returned’ spent tear gas canisters to the residence of the American ambassador to Israel late Saturday evening. Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital yesterday after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil’in, and died of poisoning this morning. The tear gas used by the Israeli forces in Bil’in is manufactured by Combined Systems Inc.; a United States company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. This is the first protest where empty tear gas canisters have been returned to an ambassador’s home.

Approximately twenty five Israeli protesters gathered in front of the residence of American ambassador to Israel, James B. Cunningham, around 1am local time. The protesters ‘returned’ loads of spent tear gas canisters collected in the West Bank village of Bil’in in protest of the murder of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah. The demonstrators also made noise throughout the Ambassador’s neighborhood informing residents of how American military aid to Israel is being used to kill unarmed and nonviolent demonstrators in the West Bank. They chanted, “one, two, three, four stop the occupation stop the war. Five, six, seven, eight end the funding (US) end the hate.”

Five demonstrators were arrested in the action and are currently being held in detention. It is unclear when they will be released and on what charges. The action in front of the American ambassador’s residence completed a day of protest throughout Israel and the West Bank stemming from Abu Rahmah’s death. On Saturday evening, hundreds demonstrated across from the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Protesters manged to block Kaplan street, a main artery, for over one hour. Eight people were arrested including a former minster of Knesset from the left Meretz Party, Mossi Raz.

This post originally appeared on +972 as part of the site’s in depth coverage of the death of Jahawer Abu Rahmah.

About Joseph Dana

Joseph Dana is a writer and journalist based in the West Bank. His work has appeared in The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, London Review of Books, The National (UAE), Monocle, Al Jazeera English, The Forward, and The Mail & Guardian among other international publications. Dana is an associate producer of Just Vision's new documentary Home Front: Portraits from Shiekh Jarrah. Before devoting himself full time to journalism, Dana studied Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Central European University in Budapest.

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6 Responses

  1. Potsherd2
    January 1, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I hope he was home. I hope his sleep was disturbed.

  2. radii
    January 2, 2011, 1:59 am

    correct approach – needs to be done time-and-time again

    it’s about accountability

  3. ritzl
    January 2, 2011, 2:40 am

    Great idea. They should collect month’s worth and deliver them to Obama, Clinton, Schumer, and Berman as well.

    Or would delivering spent CS tear gas canisters be terrorism? I suppose that depends on who’s doing the sending, live or spent.

  4. pabelmont
    January 2, 2011, 8:08 am

    Magnes Zionist says they were arrested for illegal possession of weapons. This seems unfair, really, since the IOF presented the weapons to them by firing them at them. It also seems anti-justice, because it forbids the demonstrators to collect and deliver (to proper authorities) evidence of military crimes.

    What next? Will it be illegal to take movies of IOF soldiers in action?

    • Tuyzentfloot
      January 2, 2011, 1:16 pm

      It’s the old joke of arresting a guy with a knife in his back for illegal possession of weapons. They did it with Abdallah Abu Rahmah as well (link to mondoweiss.net)

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 2, 2011, 8:40 pm

      RE: “Magnes Zionist says they were arrested for illegal possession of weapons.” – pabelmont
      SEE: Israeli Handling of the Media Increasingly Brutal, by Mel Frykberg, IPS News, 07/23/10

      (pertinent excerpt)…Abdullah Abu Rahme from the head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bilin village near Ramallah continues to languish in detention following his arrest in December last year.
      Some of the allegations against him include incitement for planning the peaceful protests and “being in possession of arms.” The latter referred to his collection of used teargas canisters and spent bullet cartridges, fired by Israeli troops at unarmed protestors, [and made] into a peace sign

      SOURCE – link to alternet.org

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