The death of a 45-year-old woman in Aida Refugee Camp exposes the ongoing abuse of crowd control weapons that all too often become lethal in the hands of Israeli forces.
Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org
Family and neighbors buried Noha Katamish the day after she died from the effects of tear gas fired into her home by Israeli forces in Aida Refugee Camp Monday. The 45-year-old mother of one daughter suffered from asthma, which likely compounded the choking effects of the gas grenade that was fired through her living room window as soldiers invaded the camp.
Ma’an News quoted an Israeli military spokesperson as saying that, “The death was not linked to the use of riot dispersal means by the army, including tear gas.” It is unclear how the military could make such a definitive statement before any investigation was possible.
The military systematically misuses tear gas and other crowd control weapons according to a B’Tselem report, which states that Israeli forces, “often fire tear-gas grenades directly at demonstrators with the aim of hitting them, or fire carelessly, without ensuring that demonstrators are not in the direct line of fire, in direct contravention of regulations.”
The night Katamish died, the military also employed rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and the so-called “skunk truck” which uses a water cannon to spray foul-smelling liquid that leaves a weeks-long stench behind. Many attending the funeral kept their noses covered because of the lingering effects of the skunk water.
The Katamish home is near the top of a hill in the southwest corner of Aida Camp, usually far from the clashes that frequently erupt on the opposite side of the camp at the Israeli separation...Read More