What really happened in Bil’in

on 4 Comments

felice1felice4I was at the demo on Friday and at the funeral on Saturday — along with Jen Marlowe. Also Dorothy Zellner came with me on Saturday.

Hundreds of Palestinians from the border area villages, internationals, and Israelis gathered in Bil’in for the Friday demonstration. Notables like Salam Fayyad showed up to make speeches, but I did not see them join the march. The IOF commenced firing heavy tear gas before demonstrators were within five hundred yards of them. A small number of people managed to penetrate the gas and get to within 15 feet of the soldiers. Obviously, this was a non-violent demonstration because they simply remained there, talking to the soldiers for at least an hour.

felice2The gas, according to several people I was with, was much more debilitating than they had experienced before. I can say, in addition to burning the eyes and nose, it caused significant chest pain. It also remained effective even when it was no longer visible in the air. You would think you had moved away from it and suddenly you couldn’t breathe. While I was never closer to the IOF than 300 yards, a young boy only six feet away from collapsed from the gas effects and was taken to the hospital.

I can say that Isabel Kershner’s comment in the New York Times, that these demonstrations “inevitably end in clashes, with young Palestinians hurling stones and the Israeli security forces firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets” completely reverses the course of events. The IOF commenced firing tear gas long before any demonstrators neared them. There was little stone throwing during the demonstration and it did not commence until long after the tear gas. 

felice3For a group of demonstrators that got closer than I did (maybe 100 yards or so from the IOF), the soldiers fired a tear gas barrage in front of them, then behind them — trapping them. Then numerous tear gas canisters were fired into the center of the group — clearly a punitive, not defensive, action. 

In addition, the IDF spokeman is claiming that Jawaher Abu Rahme was released from the Ramallah hospital and died at home. This is just an effort to complicate the chain of evidence that she was asphyxiated by tear gas. She died at 9 am in the morning at the hospital and many people, including Andrew el Kadi, waited there until her body was brought out to be taken to Bil’in for burial. 

New York Times — all the news that’s fit to print! 

How many members of the Abu Rahme family will be killed, shot, jailed as they fight for their rights and their land?

4 Responses

  1. Psychopathic god
    January 2, 2011, 11:01 am

    on Jan 1 and Jan 2, 2011, C Span Washington Journal asked questions of their call-in audience about national security issues, and hosted guests who addressed US foreign policy and national security ‘hot button’ issues.

    Iran was raised as a number one concern, anxiety, and threat. WMD from rogue states — and Iran was identified as a rogue state — was named as a major threat to US security.

    One of the guests mentioned that it’s important to solve the I/P conflict.

    “Ken,” a caller from Boca Raton, FL (the same voice was “Ken” from Boca Raton on June 7, 2010), complained bitterly that Toby Harnden had said Israel was “saber rattling” against Iran; Israel is merely defending itself against Ahmadinejad’s threats to annihilate Israel, “Ken” declared.

    Getting more than the usual bang for the buck from his moment in the C Span spotlight, “Ken” complained bitterly about the “terrorists” aboard the Mavi Marmara, who attacked IDF troops who were merely enforcing a legal blockade.

    Toby Harnden apologized to the caller for seeming to denigrate Israel, and validated “Ken’s” claim that Israel has a right to defend itself.

    Although Isabel Kerchner had published a report that a Palestinian peace activist had died as a result of IDF tear-gas fire (however flawed the report was), neither the C Span Washington Journal moderator nor his guest reporters on Jan 1, nor the Wash Journ moderator nor his national security consultant/guest on Jan 2, mentioned that tear gas canisters manufactured in Jamestown, PA, had been fired by America’s “closest ally,” at peaceful protesters, resulting in the deaths of first the husband, then the wife.

    C Span Washington Journal is repeatedly called “the fairest media in the US” by its caller-base.
    C Span Washington Journal is “Colin Powell credible.”

    But apparently, for C Span, the deaths of peaceful Palestinian protesters, husband and wife, at the hands of “the most moral army” of America’s “best ally,” resulting from use of American made munitions, is simply not worth bothering about.

    Rest in pe—

    ooops, gotta run, hot topic to cover on The Hill

  2. Audrey
    January 2, 2011, 5:39 pm

    I make a habit of ignoring everything Isabel Kershner says.

    But your order of events accurately reflects everything I’ve seen; marching, gassing, running, more gassing, and eventually the stones come out…

  3. Susan Johnson
    January 2, 2011, 6:53 pm

    Felice, Thank you for your report…. your details, accuracy and honesty come through loud and clear as always. What happened and is happening makes me so angry I could throw stones!

    Until the US media is forced to report accurately….people will continue to believe the young boys throwing stones are the aggressors; the Israeli soldiers need to defend themselves.

    The distance between soldiers and demonstrators, especially those throwing stones, make it obvious …..stones can’t travel far enough to reach the soldiers….and they’re no match for the weapons being used by Israel….whose weapons are powerful and can travel long distances..

    Does anyone have statistics about demonstrations? the number of Soldiers as well as the Palestinian and International demonstrators. How many soldiers has been hit, injured or killed by thrown stones? And how many Palestinians and International supporters have been hit, injured or killed by IOF…their tear gas, sound bombs, guns? I’m certain the figures are totally imbalanced. The media should take a look…..

    Felice, stay safe my friend!

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